In Facebook’s quest for social media domination, it rolled out features to Instagram today that compete with the popular app, Snapchat. Some of the new features include, the ability to add links and mention other users in Instagram Stories and integration with Boomerang.
Since Instagram rolled out it’s Stories feature, it has acquired almost 100 million daily user for the feature. The changes will most like result in an even higher number of daily users, as businesses and influencers find the value in the ability to add clickable links to stories. Many user have complained about the lack of being able to add links to regular picture and video posts that would allow viewers to visit their sites directly from the app. So, this is great news for users and businesses alike.
There is no word on if Snapchat will add any new features in the future to keep up with Instagram’s forward thinking. But, there are talks that the company plans to go public some time next year as Snap Inc.
It is important that Snapchat remains competitive by adding new features to keep users coming back though, unless it plans on sharing the same fate as the recently dismantled Vine. Ever since Instagram added video feature, many users and influencers inevitably abandoned Vine in favor of Instagram. Unlike Vine’s 6 second videos, Instagram videos can now last for up to 1 minute in length and also have the ability to be enhanced with filters. Many users found this to be valuable and left Vine for Instagram, where their target audience spent most of their time.
If Snapchat doesn’t want to go the same route as Vine, by going out of business, it must add new features, or at least new filters to keep users coming back for more. Since Facebook is serious about staying competitive, I don’t see it slowing down on adding more features to Facebook or Instagram, as evidenced by the new features they have been adding, most notably Facebook’s Live video feature.
Time will tell if marketers, businesses and influencers flock to Instagram stories in favor of Snapchat. However, I have heard from many friends and acquaintances that they prefer Instagram Stories over Snapchat because Instagram is where most of their fanbase is, it’s easier to use and easier to get followers. A lot of people don’t like moving their fanbase over to a new platform because not only is it difficult, but because a lot of users don’t follow them over to the new platform. So, I can see Instagram using this to their advantage by adding new features to keep users engaged on the platform and not willing to switch over to Snapchat.