I was very excited the other day to hear that Instagram was releasing a new feature which would allow users to post short, ten second bits of video and still images in a new feature called Instagram Stories that would only appear for 24 hours. These features are remarkably similar to those of Snapchat, where users can post photos and and short videos that are only available for 24 hours.
There were those in the social media world who called this move by Instagram the death knell of Snapchat. I'm not on that bandwagon. I think this update will impact Snapchat, but not in the way most people think. As someone over the age of 25, Snapchat was not intuitive for me when I was introduced to the platform. I used the platform sparingly at first, and could not get used to the fact that I couldn't post a photo or video from my camera roll (a feature that has since been added to Snapchat).
I think the Instagram Stories update will stem the tide of 25+ year old users departing Instagram to "try out Snapchat" at the recommendation of some younger user. Clearly, millennials already entrenched on Snapchat are not going to abandon the app wholesale for Instagram. But, I do think that older, less savvy users, whom have been told about how awesome Snapchat is, have less of a reason now to leave Instagram to try it out.
From a business perspective, if you are marketing to millennials you still need to have a presence on Snapchat. With over 150 million daily users, it is a difficult platform to ignore. However, if you already have an Instagram following, and you are curating creative content on that platform, there may be less of a reason for you to invest significant resources on Snapchat, particularly if your demographic trends older.
For the law firms I know that market on Instagram, many of them are also on Snapchat already, so this might not represent a seismic shift, but for those not yet moved over to Snapchat, there is probably less of a reason to do so now with Instagram Stories.