It’s been a couple months since Instagram launched Stories, their copycat of Snapchat. The Internet was buzzing with conversations about whether or not Snapchat would survive post the release of Stories and debates about which platform was better.
Facebook recently attempted another copycat of Snapchat with a new feature, Messenger Day. Though the feature is still testing, reports indicate that it’s similar to Snapchat because video and photos automatically disappear within 24-hours, and users can add stickers to the content they share.
The good news for Snapchat—er, Snap Inc. that, despite all these copycats, the company has yet to see a major decline in usage. As the app continues to push forward, there are a few key reasons the company will continue to be successful, despite being up against Instagram.
There are no filters quite like Snapchat filters
When Instagram Stories was released, we thought that was the end of Snapchat. Users of both platforms were excited to finally have both functionalities in one place, so it made sense that people would assume Snapchat would slowly meet its demise.
However, you can’t find cute dog-ears on Instagram, nor can you turn yourself into a pug. Though it’s likely only a matter of time before Instagram starts rolling out filters, there just isn’t a filter like a Snapchat filter. Even if people use Instagram Stories more often, I’d bet they still log into Snapchat every now and then to use a voice-changer filter or see if any new ones have been added.
That’s the beauty of Snapchat and the one thing its copycats have yet to perfect. Snapchat continues to invent new filters we all obsess over and brands are only getting more creative with their geofilters. Which brings me to another point: geofilters still give Snapchat an advantage over Instagram when it comes to advertisers.
Instagram statistics are higher, but Snapchat hasn’t seen a huge decline in usage like many of us thought it would. According to statistics, Instagram Stories has 100 million daily viewers, which matches the number of daily users Snapchat has. But when it comes to Snapchat, it’s all about the teenagers.
Though Instagram has a larger community, Snapchat continues to succeed in targeting the coveted demographic of 18-to-24-year-olds. Research shows that about 70% of this age group uses Snapchat and the majority of their daily active users are young people.
Moreover, Snapchat really stepped up its content game this year with its Discover feature, giving users access to news and media in-app. These days, teenagers don’t read newspapers or magazines anymore, especially since such popular publications like Cosmopolitan, People, National Geographic, and The Economist share content on Snapchat. Not to mention, a large number of Snapchatters are following the 2016 Presidential Election through Snapchat.
If Snapchat can continue to push quality content and constantly create new, fun filters, I can’t seen the teens leaving the platform for good any time soon.
Snapchat listens to its users
If you’re an avid Snapchatter, you know very well how annoying the auto-advance feature was. Essentially, it made it impossible to choose which story to watch and was just plain annoying. You’d see a snap from a friend, then the next one might be from a celebrity or random person whose snaps you didn’t want to see.
Users expressed their frustration and surprisingly, Snapchat killed the auto-advance feature and launched a Story Playlist option in its place. The changes came with rejoice from the Snapchat community, a smart move on the company’s part because they likely know how crucial it is that they keep their users happy, especially since there are copycat options readily available for them to flock to.
Back in May, Snap Inc. was valued at $17.8 billion. Rumors are currently circulating that the virtual messaging company is working on an initial public offering (IPO) that could value it at $25 billion or more. If the company succeeds, it will become the biggest company to go public on the U.S. exchange since 2014.
Despite the initial threat of Instagram Stories and Facebook’s constant attempts to take down the company that turned down its offer, Snap Inc. is holding its ground regardless of the setbacks. Plus, say what you want, but those Snapchat spectacles are pretty cool—and exemplify how Snapchat continues to innovate and distinguish itself from its competitors.