August 18, 2016

The Innovation Battle: Facebook and Snapchat

For entrepreneurs, it’s not just about bringing a valued product or service to market, it’s about continually innovating to meet, and more importantly anticipate, consumer demand. The agility of a company, or lack thereof, can make or break their staying power. In some cases, you see companies duking it out to claim the competitive advantage. Case in point: Facebook and Snapchat.

Love it or hate it, Snapchat is a huge influence on social media and millennials. So when Instagram (owned by Facebook) decided to add a “Stories” feature, social media exploded with questions about how it would affect Snapchat and the social media industry as a whole. Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s Founder and CEO, admitted that “They [Snapchat] deserve all the credit (TechCrunch).” The big question now is how will Snapchat be affected by Instagram Stories and could this be the beginning of the end? We conducted a survey and asked 500 people “Will Instagram Stories kill Snapchat?”

According to the results, Snapchat will weather the storm. Out of 500 responses, 64% of responders said “I don’t know” and 32.2% said “no”. The remaining 3.8% said “yes.” Instagram Stories is a copy of Snapchat Stories, but it seems Snapchat’s other features and branding sets them apart from Instagram. Snapchat has positioned themselves as an app you use to be spontaneous or live in the moment. Instagram, on the other hand, is typically used for moments that are more staged or filtered.

Love it or hate it, Snapchat is a huge influence on social media and millennials.

Considering Snapchat turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, neither their reaction or Instagram’s attempt to break into the ephemeral media market should come as a surprise. Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy have faced similar copycat situations before. After Facebook attempted to acquire Snapchat, they launched their own disappearing image app, Poke. After some initial success, Poke has all but disappeared itself and may have actually brought Snapchat some free media attention. Facebook’s efforts to nullify Snapchat don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. A potential new update that looks to add a camera to the Facebook app is underway. Only time will tell if Instagram Stories and these upcoming Facebook updates will go the way of Facebook Poke or spell the end for Snapchat.

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