Snapchat has undeniably been one of the most explosive social media platforms of our generation. From its conception in September 2011 right through to today, the popularity of this instant video and picture sharing platform has grown exponentially, and the platform now boasts 100 million daily active users and 6 billion video views per day, overtaking Twitter as one of the social media giants for both marketing and personal use.
With the development of custom filters and geo-filters, Snapchat has gone from strength to strength, thanks in no small part to the celebrities who have jumped on board and the simple concept of media which disappears after 24 hours as a ‘story’, or after up to 10 seconds as a personal message.
Indeed, it appeared to be that Snapchat were on a pearly throne in a separate league to competitors, with their own unique niche dominating social media. Huge brands and businesses were utilising the platform for marketing purposes and as a way to connect personally with their audiences and celebrities had a direct way of connecting with their fans and showing a more personal and raw side, which was a huge draw for the platform.
The domination might be short lived, however, as Instagram’s not-so-subtle Stories update launched in August 2016, and has been going from strength to strength. In a design which mimics both the functionality and appearance of Snapchat, Instagram stories enables users to post short images and videos for your followers to see, that will expire in 24 hours. They are constantly developing fonts, stickers and filters so that the user interface is seamless with what Snapchat offers, and the benefit of using Instagram stories for users, brands and celebrities is that the audience is already there for you to engage with as long as you have previous experience with Instagram and have developed your audience.
Many bloggers and established celebrities who have huge followings on Instagram have jumped ship to Instagram stories to engage with more users and keep their content on fewer platforms, though Snapchat is undeniably still going strong. The most recent competitor in the instant media field is the biggest giant of all; Facebook.
Facebook recently announced that they were launching Facebook stories, a functionality that will allow users to post a ‘story’ which will expire in 24 hours. Though it is yet to be rolled out to the UK and America, we’re pretty confident that this could rock Snapchat thanks to the sheer number of people who use Facebook – from citizens to brands and celebrities too. Having not yet seen the Facebook Stories platform in action, it’s difficult to say whether Snapchat should be worried, but judging from previous Facebook launches, the Zuckerberg empire and indeed how seamlessly Instagram Stories has taken off, we’d say Snapchat need to up their game to keep their core users in tact.