With new feature, Instagram copies a page from Snapchat’s story
Mark Zuckerberg’s quest to vanquish Snapchat Inc. has spread to his lieutenants.
The Facebook Inc. chief executive has launched several largely unsuccessful attempts to dethrone the Venice company’s app as the favorite among teens and young adults for quick social media sharing. Now, for the first time, Facebook’s Instagram division is taking on Snapchat.
Instagram Stories, announced Tuesday, embraces the self-destructing-message structure at the core of Snapchat. Photos and videos posted to the new section of Instagram will be visible to followers for 24 hours before disappearing from the app.
Instagram and Facebook want to encourage the sharing of images, but Instagram’s always had an air of perfection: Boring and poorly shot images not welcome. Stories aims to provide a forum where artful photography is less of a priority since images aren’t preserved forever.
Instagram Stories follows Facebook’s release of apps such as Riff and Slingshot and tweaks to its chat app Messenger that took swipes at Snapchat. But none has appeared to place a large block on the growth of Snapchat, which has about 150 million daily users versus more than 1 billion on Facebook and 300 million on Instagram. The services also want the attention of advertisers, who are expected to spend nearly $30 billion on social media ads worldwide this year.
Zuckerberg had identified Snapchat as a strong product — and perhaps a concern — at least three years ago and made a failed bid to buy the start-up for $3 billion.
The battle between the upstart and the giant isn’t likely to end soon. On Tuesday, Snapchat announced its latest decorative element and expanded a major partnership with the National Football League.
The Geostickers feature enables user to place location-themed cartoons — like the Eiffel Tower and text saying “Bonjour” for posts made in Paris — atop of images they capture. And the NFL deal now gives the league a daily presence on Snapchat through a link on the app’s Discover professional-media section. More than 70 million Snapchat users watched NFL content on the app last season.
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