Will Instagram be able to dethrone Snapchat and become the queen of the speed vlogging?
I'm sure you noticed that last week Instagram launched it's very own stories feature, allowing users to publish pictures and videos that only stick around for 24 hours.
This is Instagram's attempt at breaking into Snapchat's mobile messaging and speed vlogging territory. In my opinion, this is the only really fierce attempt I've seen a social media platform take in trying to directly compete with Snapchat. And if Instagram is going to make it a competition between platforms I'm sure your wondering - which one is better? Which one should I be using, if any?
I've been playing around with the new stories feature since it was released and I've had a chance to make my mind up on a few things. In short, they're both winners and losers in their own way.
Here's my take.
Where Instagram Succeeds
Instagram Stories makes it easier than ever before to follow, find, and enjoy little snippets of your favourite bloggers days. It's neatly contained in a platform you already use, know and love. There's no need to download another app to stay connected, or trying to figure out someone's username.
Everything you need to stay connected is right there, and easily accessible.
Snapchat doesn't make it easy to find and follow the people you want to see. Have you ever spent ages searching for someone's user name on Snapchat? I have. It sucked. It's not easy in the same way it is on Instagram.
Plus, many people find their interface confusing, and aren't comfortable with using the app the way they are with Instagram. I'm 21, I've been using Snapchat recreationally for years, so it's easy for me to use it's many - often confusing - features for blogging. But if I didn't grow up with Snapchat in my pocket? Well, I think it would be from a different story.
Instagram stories fits seamlessly into the Instagram user experience, and keeps it simple above everything else. They've eliminated the learning curve that stumps people that aren't a part of the social media generation. Not only does this make it easy for you to use as a blogger, but it also means more of your followers may be more likely to tune into your stories on Instagram than they are on Snapchat.
For bloggers, using Instagram stories means you don't need to worry about promoting and sharing your snapchat account - all of your Instagram followers can view your speed vlogs without a hassle.
Where Instagram Stories Falls Short
What a lot of people love about Snapchat is that it's an easy way to have a two-way connection with the people in your online community. If you share a video of you working on a project, someone else can send you back a picture of their current WIP - it's an effortless way to connect and get to know the people who follow you in a more intimate and friendly way.
What made Snapchat so sensationally popular was the ability to communicate with visuals. When Snapchat first came out I still had to pay to send pictures through text messages, and it revolutionized the way I communicated with all my friends. It's still one of the main ways I chat with my friends, especially those who are far away. I love being able to see and show real life.
On Instagram stories, it isn't as easy to send messages and speed vlogs back and forth. Yes, you can reply to someone's story, but there's no easy option to send a picture or video, and the messages get sent to your Direct Messages.
It's clunky and feels disconnected.
And what's the point in sending out all these messages if it's difficult for people to message you back? Isn't engagement and community the ultimate goal?
The Bottom Line
Watching Instagram Stories is easy and effortless compared to Snapchat, engaging with them is a whole different story. Both sides of the equasion are necessary for the success of the platform, but neither of them are doing it perfectly.
For now, I might continue to use Instagram Stories on occasion, but Snapchat will still be my go-to because engagement is most important to me. I would rather have a quality conversation with a few people over a Snapchat, than have 70 people see my story and not feel encouraged to respond.
If Instagram made it easier to have back and forth conversations through their stories feature, that would be a game changer. Not only would it be easy to find the people you're interested in hearing from, it would be easy to talk to them too.
What are your thought's about Instagram's new stories feature? Love it? Hate it? I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks, too.
Until next time,
Creative lifestyle blogger, dedicated to the process of making new things and worrying about being perfect LATER. Lover of Instagram, making things, and wearing dresses instead of pants.
I post a new handmade garment every Wednesday!