2016 / 22 October

The Art to Copy: Who Tells ‘Stories’ better?


In our tech savvy world, there’s no lack of innovative ideas. It’s not an easy task to impress people unless you are John Hanke, a Pokemon Go’s creator. But when it happens that your idea becomes viral, the most difficult task is not to reply to the million comments of your fans. What’s next matters the most. To remain popular and retain people’s attention you have to ‘feed’ your audience with the new cool features of your product. And in this article, we’ll talk about such well-known apps as Instagram and Snapchat in the context of the latest Instagram upgrade with Snapchat-like ‘Stories’ format. From this August Instagram users, as Snapchat ones are able to post photos or videos that would disappear in 24 hours. But how it’s possible that one app can easily copy the feature of another popular product and use it for its own sake?


In his interview with TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, says that in Silicon Valley all social networks somehow copy each other, but it’s just the question of format and how you can adjust it to meet your customer’s needs. ‘And I think what you see is that every company looks around and adopts the best of the best formats or state-of-the-art technology. Snapchat adopted face filters that existed elsewhere first, right? And slideshows existed in other places, too. Flipagram was doing it for a while. So I think that’s the interesting part of the Valley. You can’t just recreate another product. But you can say ‘what’s really awesome about a format? And does it apply to our network?’, explains Systrom.

Why ‘Stories’ are so popular?

  • It’s a new interactive form of self-expression.
  • It gives you an opportunity to share your real-time moments with others.
  • Self-destructing content leaves no signs of your identity on the company servers.
  • Plus, it can be done in a funny way with the help of filters and drawing tools (and as we are all grown-up kids, we adore to play with such staff)

The main benefits of ‘Stories’ for the brands are that they can post their content in a full-screen and live format.

What is the different about the ‘Stories’ of 2 apps?

For sure, it would be too much if Instagram just copied everything without making changes to the ‘Stories’. So, what’s different? In Instagram, ‘Stories’ are featured at the top of the feed and are ranked by who you interact the most. In Snapchat, they appear on a separate screen in the chronological order. Instagram gives its users a wider option of brushes and offers a custom color control, there are no location filters, native selfie lens filters, stickers, 3D stickers and speed effects. If your profile on Instagram is public, anyone can see your live-ish posts, as well as you don’t have to create a separate network to see the ‘Stories’ of others. There’s also some slight differences in the app navigation system, e.g. you can pause a slideshow, or to go back a slide while Snapchat ‘Stories’ are timebound and continually progressing.


What consequences for Snapchat can such Instagram move have?

Let’s dive into statistics first:

  • Instagram is already 6 years on the market while Snapchat – 5.
  • Instagram has bigger audience – it counts 500 million Instagrammers, more than 300 million of whom use Instagram every day in comparison to Snapchat which has 150 million users.
  • 8% of brands are on Instagram, by 2017, this is predicted to rise to 70.7%, while Snapchat ad industry is relatively young. It launched expansions of its advertising just in June 2016. Furthermore, Instagram has already developed a good strategy for brands, as they can organically enrich their audience through search and discovery. With the ‘Stories’ Instagram offers companies a new feature – to post their content live and be closer to their customers.


  • Instagram gives brands comfortable format and the wider specter of options to promote their product at one place, they won’t have to register, explore and spend money on advertising in another app.


Well, the stats are just one part of a story and they don’t mean that Snapchat would lose in this battle. Definitely, such things can slow down Snapchat advertising growth. But you never know, maybe very soon Evan Spiegel and his team would surprise us with new features to re-think the way we communicate once again.

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