Herman Melville may have known a lot about whale hunting, but the Moby Dick author was clueless about social media. He wrote that it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. The leadership at Snapchat aren’t likely to agree.
Snapchat pioneered some really nifty social media constructs, especially their Stories feature. Instagram has effectively cloned Stories, and according to this eMarketer article is successfully leveraging its larger user base and more robust technology to make Snapchat effectively irrelevant. When every bit of the Snapchat experience can be had in Instagram, why would people continue to use Snapchat?
It’s a question we don’t have an answer to. With the caveat that the tech industry is perpetually predicting that this platform or that platform is on death’s door – after all, we’ve been hearing about Twitter’s impending demise for years now – business owners are going to want to be particularly observant over the coming weeks and months. Check your analytics, and compare engagement levels on Snapchat and Instagram. It’s especially important to understand how these platforms are funneling traffic to your website. Use these insights when determining where to invest your content marketing resources and your advertising dollars.
Looking forward, Instagram has recently debuted a Pinterest-like feature. The new functionality, called Collections, allows users to save their friend’s posts and organize them into multiple sets. Coupled with Instagram’s shoppable posts, the Collections feature may be serious competition to Pinterest – although Pinterest’s largely older female user base may exhibit stronger platform than Snapchat’s younger users. Again, time will tell. It’s important to keep an eye on your metrics. We’ll be doing the same here, and as the data becomes available and patterns reveal themselves, we’ll share what we know.