Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time… Jan 13, 2018

Steve Jobs desired to be the greatest storyteller ever saying, “The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation.” CEOs are often pegged as chief storytellers, people in sales are storytellers, engineers, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, and teachers are all storytellers. Everyone’s a storyteller. Stories, literally make the world go round. With the advent of technology, communication with one another is empowered by different platforms to tell better stories. Stories compel people to take action, to understand, to live, and this communication engages people. That’s why when Snapchat launched “Stories” several years ago, it was a game changer.

All things considered, it’s no surprise why a company like Facebook largely embraced a company like Snapchat’s biggest feature. Furthermore, it’s no surprise other platforms like Tinder and Skype are adopting the same format as well.

We’re nearing almost a year since Instagram stories first launched, and in that year, Instagram Stories’ 200M+ daily users dwarfs Snapchat’s 166M. At first, many were irked at the unoriginality of the move to literally just “copy” Snap. But then, the user experience worked, and no one cares anymore. Downloads for Snapchat have gone down, and they recently had a less than lackluster earnings call. A report on TechCrunch found that Snapchat Stories’ view counts dipped by 15-30 percent after Instagram Stories launched, and posting volume declined as well.

Brands are more interested in Instagram because of reach and a less expensive ad model, meaning they are getting way more bang for way less buck. Influencers are moving over as well. TheAmplify has found that influencers see a 28% higher open rate on Instagram Stories than on Snapchat.

There’s no denying the massive reach that Facebook & Instagram have, but Snapchat was built on innovation and continues to innovate. They are focusing on a second generation of Spectacles, which are rumored to include augmented reality and are going all in on linear content, striking deals with major content distributors. Facebook and Apple have announced an AR strategy as well, but Snapchat’s still in the game. Employees are heads down, seemingly in their own reality distortion field where they continue to work on maintaining high engagement among their demographic. Sixty percent of Snap’s users are under 25, and according to Nielsen research commissioned by the company, it reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S.

Because of ‘Stories’, Snapchat and Instagram are quickly becoming the same platform. Business and economics don’t always reward creators of great ideas, but those who execute well, will always have the competitive advantage. We’re in for a ride over the next couple years. Innovation is happening before our eyes. He who tells the best story, will ultimately win.

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