2013 was a simpler time, Snapchat had just released their story feature allowing users to track their day over a 24 hour recorded timeline.
This tool offered something different to users as it allowed them to keep their pictures live, opposed to disappearing after 10 seconds. It reinvigorated the company within the Gen Z/Millennial audience having been known previously as an explicit image sending service. Snapchat was now the ‘in-thing’.
Fast forward to 2017 and every social channel seems to be trying to emulate the successes of Snapchat. Instagram released their story feature in August 2016, pretty much copying the original and this was then followed by Facebook doing the same in March 2017. (Even WhatsApp have had a crack at it…).
This offers a conundrum to business owners trying to figure out which story service to persevere with. But fear no more, because Crowd have got your back. Here’s the agency’s rundown of each of the story baring channels and which one they believe will end out winning the ‘Story Wars’.
It would be rude to not start with the inventors of the feature, so here they have Snapchat. Snapchat has always been a tricky one to work out for businesses, however, the constant onslaught from Facebook has meant they’ve had to make their platform more and more business friendly to survive.
The platform allows the user to record a 10-second clip and keep it live for 24 hours, pretty simple. Snapchat also has a number of geo-filters, augmented reality features and facial filters that can support the original image/video.
Snapchat got a head start on the pack equating to a large group of loyal ‘snapchatters’, which are dedicated to the platform. Snapchat now boasts over 166m daily active users and if a business executes the right strategy it can be a very good channel to use.
Instagram cloned the popular Snapchat feature in August 2016, and due to its already larger user base, the new feature took off instantly. By 2017 Instagram had over 200m daily story users and that number is growing at a faster rate than Snapchats.
Instagram also offers a similar bunch of facial filters as well as geo-filters. They are alike in many ways and Snapchat must feel robbed of their original ingenuity.
Other than the larger user base and access to the bank of Facebook users, Instagram has the advantage of sharing the Facebook ads manager platform, a platform familiar to many. Facebook has been running ads for many years, and have optimised it to make their platform as user-friendly as possible. This would be considered a huge plus for a business owner when using Instagram.
As if Snapchat didn’t have enough to worry about, along came Facebook. Facebook released their take on stories and despite having access to a far bigger audience than both Snapchat and Instagram, it flopped… Facebook were going for the jugular on Snapchat and it can only be considered as a massive fail.
As an agency full of digital socialites, Crowd have an office average of around 800 Facebook friends, nevertheless, they all concluded to rarely seeing anybody using Facebook stories. The tool is fine, in fact in many respects better than both Snapchat and Instagram, but it never even looked like taking off.
Facebook seem to be pursuing with the feature and only time will tell if it will ever get good traction, but Crowd, believes it’s only really a two horse race…
So who wins?
It is a David vs. Goliath scenario, so far Snapchats innovative thinking has allowed them to keep up. Snapmap has given a new lease of life to the company, but it very much feels as if the clock is ticking for Snap inc. Facebook have their eyes set on ridding themselves of the platform, and the flop that is Facebook stories may be just a minor setback.
If you’re a business owner I would suggest putting the majority of your efforts into Instagram. It is a simple platform, where you can build an audience with relative ease in comparison to Snapchat. By no means is Snapchat dead, if you want to dedicate the time and have the right product, then you may receive great results from it. But, the way Crowd see it there is only one ‘story wars’ winner… Instagram.
Crowd is a creative communications agency with offices in Dubai, London, Bournemouth and San Francisco. Crowd uses creative digital marketing techniques to ensure your marketing message is delivered to the audience you want.