Snapchat is the sexier version of Facebook. It appeals to teens and young adults rather than moms and cat lovers. It’s also the youthful version of Instagram. That hasn’t stopped both Instagram and Facebook from copying the social media app. Snapchat allows you to send photos and videos, and to make use of its zany face filters.
It’s clear that Facebook tried to copy Snapchat with its new Facebook Stories feature. But, is it really paying off? Those face filters, cartoonish animal ears, and various crowns that Snapchat is known for can also be found on Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook. Instagram Stories allows you to send photos and videos for a short period of time.
Facebook has also snatched some of Snapchat’s ideas. It has included disappearing messages and camera tools that allow users to draw, type, and add stickers to images. Facebook wants its users to know that they don’t have to leave the social media app to enjoy everything that they love about Snapchat, according to analysts. However, some Instagram users are still using Snapchat for its fun appeal.
“We have seen a big number of Instagram users still use Snapchat, but as that number goes down, that’s an indication that people are finding the same features in Instagram and they have no use for Snapchat anymore,” Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of tech analysis firm Verto Analytics told the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday, May 19.
From December through March, Snapchat’s numbers have stayed the same while Instagram’s numbers are on the rise, according to an analysis by Verto Analytics. Instagram Stories passed Snapchat’s daily users in eight months back in April after Facebook unveiled the feature. It directly steals from Snapchat’s playbook in which it allows users to view photos and videos shared by their friends.
Instagram Stories now has more than 200 million daily users, according to company data. That’s far more than the 166 million users who go on Snapchat every day. In addition, Snapchat’s shares plummeted this month following its first-quarter earnings. The company fell $8 million short of the $158 million average target analysts predicted.
Verto Analytics also found that Snapchat users are spending less time on the app. The amount time that Snapchat users spend on the app is down 25 percent from last year. Analysts warn those from buying Snapchat’s stock as Facebook continues to copy its features on both of its social media sites.
“This next year is going to be a tough year for Snapchat. The stock is going to be a roller coaster,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures.
“They poked the bear even before they went public. Now they’re going to see what happens when you do that.”
Snapchat is still the most youthful app out there. About 64 percent of Snapchat’s user are under the age of 34, according to Verto Analytics data. More than third are between the ages of 18 and 24. Instagram’s users, meanwhile, have varying ages, with the majority under the age of 50.
Facebook is finding it hard to attract Snapchat’s demographic. And it’s making it hard for Snapchat to grow outside of that demographic and attract other users. Kylie Coleman told Inc. that Facebook is just not sexy. It’s the same social media app that your mom and dad use. Not to mention, most people use Facebook to post photos of their kids.
“I use Snapchat, and I know people who use it more than me. I use it more than any other app right now.” He added,
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned now that I wish I understood when I was a kid, [it] is patience. Snapchat is a patient buy.”
Instagram’s VP of Product Kevin Weil addressed the cloning controversy. He told TechCrunch that he wants to bring Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s vision to a much larger scale.
“If we’re being honest with ourselves, this is the way the tech industry works and frankly it’s how all industries work,” Weil argued at TechCrunch Disrupt NY.
“Good ideas start in one place, and they spread across the entire industry. Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to Stories, but it’s a format and it’s going to be adopted widely across a lot of different platforms.”
What are your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook stealing Snapchat’s ideas? Do you think Snap will become a thing of the past? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]