Hot Off the Presses!
Instagram stories are all the rave. In upcoming weeks, Instagram will roll out its new “stories” features. These upgraded features will be available on iOS and Android devices.
Stories are 10 minute video and image clips with text, filters, and drawing tools that vanish into thin cyber-air after 24 hours.
Sound familiar? Well, it should.
Instagram is Playing in Snapchat’s Sandbox
Instagram’s announcement of its new features blatantly borrowed from Snapchat’s platform. Instagram acknowledges the uncanny similarities unapologetically.
Instagram’s goal was not to reinvent the wheel. The idea was to revolutionize the technology.
Instagram stories are overlaid atop an already profoundly popular platform.
Here’s the Scoop:
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram’s stories prevent public likes or shares while allowing private comments.
Much like Snapchat, Instagram is using small, editable clips that quickly disappear. However, unlike Snapchat, Instagram does allow portions of the stories to be saved to user profiles.
Snapchat offers a single pen for drawing whereas Instagram has three.
Snapchat has fun and funky filters. Instagram offers only the standard filters of their existing app.
Furthermore, Instagram came out of the gates with a sleek design while avoiding puppy dog ears, flowered hats, and rainbow vomit.
But Why is Instagram Snapchat’s Copycat?
Clearly, Snapchat was on to something. The appeal to users is quick capturing of moments worthy of being shared, but fast fading so as not to clutter a profile.
The primary audience for Snapchat was tweens and teens. Then, brands and businesses began hopping on the Snapchat bandwagon.
In contrast, Instagram stories are targeted toward a more mature audience. Instagram has already established a broad user base.
Instagram is drawing on its already monumental following to up the anti on story sharing.
Is that Even Legal?
You’d think plagiarism or copyright infringement were in play in Instagram’s nearly identical features to Snapchat.
The keyword here is: nearly.
There’s no law preventing a social media platform from “borrowing” the ideas of another platform, provided there are distinct differences.
A few of the subtle differences keeping Instagram out of court are: Three drawing pens vs. one, saved clips to profiles, standard filters, and the ability to save media to your device.
Therefore, Instagram broke no laws, even if they did tread on moral conduct.
There’s No New App for That
Others have tried. Others have failed.
Developers are constantly releasing new apps to entice viewers to various social platforms. A variety of popular social networks have repeatedly tried to cash in on the public consumption of social sharing.
The fact is, the app infatuation is fading. People are no longer anxiously clamoring to download the latest technological trend. Instagram got smart by keeping their existing app with upgraded features.
Benefits to Businesses and Brands
Businesses and brands have an all new way to market their products and services. Professionals can hit a target market quickly without lingering effects.
What’s the point in brands having a sale posted on their profile long after the sale has ended? Stories allow business professionals and brands to share timely information that expires in short time spans.
Real estate is a prime example. Real estate agents can share clips and images of properties they represent without having those listings posted long after the house is sold.
Summing it Up
Snapchat didn’t own real estate in the social network sandbox. They were just the first to arrive.Founders of social sharing fun, Snapchat found a way to embrace the young and young at heart with fabulous filters, text enhancements, and short-lived stories. Instagram raised the bar at the playground, recycling and redesigning a concept they clearly admired. But will the public play or protest Instagram’s blatant borrowing of Snapchat’s platform?