Since the arrival of Snapchat back in 2011, we have been entertained and educated by our friends, families and our favourite celebrities on a daily basis. When the app first launched, it wasn’t much more than a messenger service between teenagers, but fast forward six years and it’s now one of the most powerful brands, popular with some of the biggest celebrities and organisations in the world and leading the way for other social apps with its innovative use of technology.
The app started out as a simple photo and caption that disappeared after 10 seconds - a long way from where we are now. We now have Snapchat Stories, filters, geofilters and a discover page full of the best of magazines, TV, entertainment and news channels. And with the app set to have 13.6 million users by the end of 2017 (one third of the UK’s smartphone users)- they’re clearly doing something right!
Jumping on the back of this popularity, other apps have tried to get in on the action, with one launching a key feature and the others quick to follow suit. Instagram has been replicating Snapchat for some time now, including with the introduction of live stories and disappearing messages, but where Instagram is lacking in filters (I can’t remember the last time we got a new Instagram filter), they make up for it in the ability to tag your friends, your location or even create your own gif with Boomerang.
Earlier this month, Twitter created anInstagram account, using the app to promote itself as a destination for breaking news and important conversations. The organisation went straight on to take advantage of Instagram stories, publishing their first story to outline what was trending and who was talking about the subject. They’ve since used the platform to publish news and reactions about Donald Trump, The Women’s March and the Super Bowl- this is a key example of how social media apps need each other to continue to grow and something I’m sure we’ll see develop further in the coming months.
And whilst Instagram has been playing catch up, Snapchat has been signing an exclusive deal with BBC Worldwide to air a six-episode show of BBC’s Planet Earth II in North America a day before it airs on TV! Watching TV through Snapchat creates so many possibilities, and I have a feeling we’ll see a lot of other programmes trying to do the same in the not so distant future.
Whether you prefer Instagram Stories or you’re a true ‘Snapchatter’, both platforms have shown us how brands are now using their ‘digital first’ approach to create a real hype and something tells me, this won’t be the last of it…