Is the battle over social media "stories" irrelevant?

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
4/13/2017
Social Media

Consider sharing it with your friends.

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post discussing Facebooks latest feature "Facebook Stories." This is the second attempt by the media giant to stunt the ever growing popularity of SnapChat, arguably their biggest rival. Earlier in the year they rolled out a clone of SnapChats most differentiating feature "Stories" to Instagram.

Stories are simply short videos or images that are only viewable by followers for a 24 hour period, typically making them more informal and frequent compared to normal status updates.

With SnapChats growth slowing many feel that Facebook has been successful in their adoption of the SnapChat style content. A recent poll may indicate otherwise.

While SnapChats popularity has always been attributed to "content decomposition," meaning content that disappears over time, 46% of users indicate they have no interest in using stories regardless of platform. Not surprisingly affinity towards stories is largely generational, with users in the 18 to 29 year olds being twice as likely to use stories.

What this tells me is that SnapChats popularity isn't because of the format, but rather the vibe. SnapChat is popular because it's NOT Instagram or Facebook. What do you think?



 

 

 

Comments & Feedback

Student

I have used instagram stories once, I have never used facebook stories, and I do not plan on it. However, I do use snapchat a lot and I like it a lot more than the stories feature on the other two platforms. I will watch instrgram stories, I am just not a fan of making them. I've had snapchat for years, so if I feel its necessary to post a story anywhere, that would be the platform I use for it. Instagram and facebook are just becoming too complicated with all their new features. There is really no reason for either of them to add stories when there is an app like snapchat that is basically made for that exact reason. 

Student

I do think that Snapchat gives out a younger and more easily accessible title and vibe to young teens and adolescents. Snapchat does have a cool format, but I also think its a new, fun app that keep on producing updates throughout each week. It is not Instagram or Facebook and that definitely does set it aside from those because those apps pretty much do the same thing. Snapchat is a booming business as every age uses it and I think it will continue to produce the same images for at least the next couple of years. 

Student

I think that it's popular because yes, it is a platform that is slightly different. The idea of things disappearing after a couple seconds never to be seen again is the huge appeal with this social media platform. I also think little quick videos or pictures that last a couple seconds appeal to convenience. Uploading pictures on other social media platforms takes more time and thought. Facebook you have to select each photo and possibly add it to an album and instagram there comes the desire to pick a filter and edit as well as construct a caption which can be time consuming. Snapchat is more of a quick and easy things to just add snipits of things that you do throughout the day and it doesn't take much thought especially since people will only see it for a short time. 

Student

For the most part, I'd have to agree with this. Snapchat's "vibe" is younger, more personal, and a place you can share content with your inner circle. Although I do enjoy the "my story" feature of snapchat, I don't post stories on facebook or instagram because their "vibe" isn't the same as snapchat. So yes, I like the feature of stories - but only in the right setting, which for me, happens to be snapchat.

Student

I would have to agree with the statement that SnapChat is popular because it's completely different from any other social media platform. I think people in my age group are very interested in content decomposition, even though they may not know the exact term. I also feel like when people use SnapChat they aren't necessarily trying to filter their life like one might do on Facebook or Instagram. I personally can't forsee myself not using SnapChat in the near future. Aditionally, as far as the story feature goes, what I think is most important is that everyone knows SnapChat did it first. 

Student

i think that people use Snapchat more because it was the first platform of its kind, and many people like using it because its what they know and are familiar with. I dont use Facebook very often just in general, so when im on there im not looking to interact on it in anyway, especially not adding something that i feel better doing on Snapchat. Also, ive had my Facebook since middle school and am friends with a lot more people than Snapchat. I use Snapchat cause i know everyone who can view my stories and that is not the case with Facebook.

Student

I think in today's generation, we like the newest of the new and dislike "haters". Since Snapchat, being the first one to introduce stories to us, is the newest social media platform out of the three it's automatically popular. With Facebook and Instagram copying the original concept of Snapchat they are considered the "haters". Yeah we'll still use Facebook and Instagram because of the social media craze, but stories belong on Snapchat where the vibe is pretty cool. 

Student

I agree with you I believe the reason why snapchat is popular is just because its Snapchat. As much as the social media sites are trying to combine all the great ideas of each socail media app in to one I don’t think users will appreciate or adapt to this. I believe be people do like the line draw between each socail media site. Personally, I use each social media app differently and expect different aspects from each of them I don’t want them combined all into one. 

Student

I think that Snapchat's popularity comes from both its format and its vibe. Format wise it's similar to texting, and with the disappearing content, it makes the platform unique. Its vibe is from the predominently young users, and the fact Snapchat hasn't been popular with an older audience. It's less likely that you'll find your parent but a co-worker or classmate. I also think that because Facebook and Instagram have been established as a different type of platform for a long time now, integrating new features isn't going to work. They've been the same for so long that people have gotten bored and moved on to new platforms. Copying a feature from a new, popular one isn't going to bring them back. 

Student

I would most definitely agree with your stance that people like/use Snapchat because of the vibe it has and the fact that it's not Instagram or Facebook. In my opinion, the reason people enjoy each of the 4 main social media apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) is because each serves their own function/purpose. Facebook may serve as the most versatile of these social media apps in that it allows for the most options, but people still mainly use Facebook to share articles, Twitter to share phrases/funny content, Instagram to share pictures, and Snapchat to share real-time events with their friends. If I were Facebook, I would focus more on improving the current features that I offer to users as opposed to trying to invade other markets by expanding Facebook's uses. I understand what they are trying to do by creating these new features for Facebook, however from examples shown in the past as well as in this article we see that these efforts are futile. People enjoy diversification amongst their social media apps and Facebook, as well as other social media apps, need to realize this in order to survive and thrive moving forward.

Student

I think what makes Snapchat so unique is that it was the first social media site to do something like this. It was the first to have pictures that disappeard, the first to have filters, the first to make stories, etc. I think people like it so much is because of how authentic it is. They keep it really interesting by doing new things, whether its a big or small new thing.

Student

I think what makes Snapchat so popular is its convenience of communicating with your friends. On top of it being convenient it is very fun to use. It is also a very casual way of communicating with someone. Maybe you want to say hi to a crush and not make it so serious so you just send them a snapchat. Maybe your friend is doing something hilarious and you want to share it with your other friends, so you send a snap. Knowing that whatever you send goes aways in seconds (at least to the reciever) is the biggest feature of snapchat. That feature makes snapchat a "not serious" kind of social media. Which makes it more popular because you can have more fun with it.

Student

I think what makes Snapchat so popular is its convenience of communicating with your friends. On top of it being convenient it is very fun to use. It is also a very casual way of communicating with someone. Maybe you want to say hi to a crush and not make it so serious so you just send them a snapchat. Maybe your friend is doing something hilarious and you want to share it with your other friends, so you send a snap. Knowing that whatever you send goes aways in seconds (at least to the reciever) is the biggest feature of snapchat. That feature makes snapchat a "not serious" kind of social media. Which makes it more popular because you can have more fun with it.

Student

I think what makes Snapchat so popular is its convenience of communicating with your friends. On top of it being convenient it is very fun to use. It is also a very casual way of communicating with someone. Maybe you want to say hi to a crush and not make it so serious so you just send them a snapchat. Maybe your friend is doing something hilarious and you want to share it with your other friends, so you send a snap. Knowing that whatever you send goes aways in seconds (at least to the reciever) is the biggest feature of snapchat. That feature makes snapchat a "not serious" kind of social media. Which makes it more popular because you can have more fun with it.

Student

I think what makes Snapchat so popular is its convenience of communicating with your friends. On top of it being convenient it is very fun to use. It is also a very casual way of communicating with someone. Maybe you want to say hi to a crush and not make it so serious so you just send them a snapchat. Maybe your friend is doing something hilarious and you want to share it with your other friends, so you send a snap. Knowing that whatever you send goes aways in seconds (at least to the reciever) is the biggest feature of snapchat. That feature makes snapchat a "not serious" kind of social media. Which makes it more popular because you can have more fun with it.

Student

I agree that SnapChat is popular because it is not like Instagram or Facebook. SnapChat offers a completely different way to communicate with people and offers a specific vibe that is unlike Facebook and Instagram. Once I personally got SnapChat my usage of Twitter stopped completely and my usage of Instagram went way down. I like the vibe that SnapChat is like texting your friends, but with pictures and being able to share experiences in a different way.

Student

I completely agree! Snapchat thrives off of its uniqueness, and that is where Stories should stay, in my opinion. Of my 1300+ Facebook friends, approximately ONE to TWO of them post stories daily. This statistic alone proves that this huge "Stories" battle is unnecessary, and should stick with its originator; Snapchat.


 

Student

I think you are partially correct. I think the Vibe is a major reason why it is popular, however you begin to lose me when you say it is popular because it is not Facebook or Instagram. I think its almost become so mainstream to like snapchat that your argument becomes irrelvant. I think it is popular due to the ability to send photos to one person and chat visually rather than through text. 

Student

I agree that Snapchat is definitely a genrational thing, I think that as times goes on and a new generation comes into light Snapchat will slowly fade away just like other mdeia platforms have. Something better will always come along (Myspace to Facebook) and ne technology will always play a role. As far as Snapchat being popoular because its not Facebook or Instagram, I could that point. Personally I just recently got a Snapchat, and I don't have a Facebook. So the only media platforms that I was using were Instagram and Twitter; but not that I have downloaded Snapchat, that has replaced my twitter usage. The reason I think Snapchat is still alive today is because they utilize new technology, almost too well. They are always ahead of the game and coming up with new ideas.

Student

I think Snapchat is still the best and most forward thinking when it comes to stories, and I think that's because that is solely what the platform is for, so it seems like "special" content in a way. Also, Instagram is probably my least used social media, so I might be biased in saying this. I think the fact that Snapchat has inspired all of these stories speaks for itself.

Student

I agree completely that SnapChat's popularity is because of it's "vibe." Instagram and Facebook both had established platforms, brands, and reputations before SnapChat came along so SnapChat took advantage of what was missing. 

Student

I think what makes Snapchat so popular is because it is different. People get bored easily and are always looking for things that are new and fresh. This is why i think even though Facebook and Instagram are copying snapchat they still arent as successful. People are not interested in what they are coming out with because its already been done by snapchat. 

Student

I believe Snapchat is popular because of who you can choose to send stories to. Facebook and Instagram are used by millions of people which gives it a better chance of family members having it. If you post a story to Facebook you are going to have everybody see it. Posting on Snapchat is easier because you don't have to worry about people you don't want seeing your story. 

Student

I agree that the story function is somewhat irrelevant. I think Facebook may have missed the mark and failed to realise that young people are really just looking for a medium that just has their friends and co-workers as opposed to their family and teachers and other autority figures. I think snapchats "story" function benefits from its originality and its user pool.

Student

I believe the battle over "stories" is a bit irrelevant. Snapchat is going to be around for a long time because it is honestly a staple amoung people my age. I use it more than I text or call people. Enough people wont use the story feature on facebook that they will probably take it off in a month or something. Recently, Instagram added the ability to send photo messages that disappear within a certain amounf of time as well. Remind you of anyone? I dont think Snapchat really has anything to worry about because their design is, like you said, a lot more about the vibe rather than who actually has the best platform to get my photos and videos to my audience.

Student

I agree completely.  Millennials use SnapChat because it is a fast and easy way to document what they are up to with little committment to answering other people in the process (as opposed to posting a video/photo to Facebook and replying to various comments).  The "Story" feature on Facebook will fail miserably because people use Facebook to post lasting memories documenting more meaningful milestones in life or to connect with far away friends and family members more frequently.  The bottom line is, people using FaceBook dont want their posts to be deleted, they dont see the point.  I use Facebook's "photo album" ability as a modern day way of scrapbooking important photos in my life and I think many others do as well.

Student

I concur with the idea that SnapChat is a generational app. This past weekend as I was surrounded by family, during the Easter holiday, I was taken aback at the skew of social media users. All of the younger attendees were utilizing both SnapChat and Instagram, while “older” (over 30) attendees were utilizing Facebook. Obviously this was purely anecdotal, but I do believe it reflects the wider trend of social media. Younger and younger children are obtaining access to smart phones, and as always, they are the early adopters of technology and apps. Before we know it, SnapChat will seem too blaise for tomorrow’s youth. 

Student

I think Facebook stories are unsuccessful because users are there to reconnect with faraway friends and family members who may not be able to check Facebook everyday. SnapChat is able to use stories because it is primarily used by younger individuals who check in with a smaller circle of friends on a daily basis. I think Facebook should own that they are now the "family-friendly" social media and add features based on that.

Student

I think Snapchat is definitely a generation thing and over time it will slow down completely because of something new being created. I do use both Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and I think having the elements of all these apps being available on just Facebook or Instagram will soon influence me to shy away from Snapchat. I do think Snapchat has a unique display and allows people to be more secretive but there is nothing that stops Facebook from tweeking their site to be the same. 

Student

I agree - the reason Snapchat is popular is because it is not Facebook or Instagram. Further, Snapchat offers authenticity that Instagram and Facebook simply cannot replicate. Facebook and Instagram may be able to deliver the same format/style of content, but Snapchat's foundation is an intimate social connection that is more brief, thus more personal. Facebook and Instagram have long been used for celebrity/product promotion. Initially, snapchat offered no public "stories," and was only used for friends to communicate. I believe that celebrities gravitated towards snapchat because its "vibe" was a more direct connection to fans. Thus, no matter how close Facebook and Instagram come to replicating Snapchat's format, they will never be able to recreate Snapchat's authenticity. 

Student

I agree that the reason Snapchat is so popular is because it isn't Facebook or Instagram. I think that the 'newness' of the social media platform has an effect on its popularity also because everyone wants to be up-to-date on whatever the new way to connect with each other. I would say that since Facebook and Instagram have both been around for a while now, adding new features will not have the same effect as creating a new platform would.

Student

I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for different reasons. I use Facebook for staying connected to friends and family, Instagram for posting images, and Snapchat for posting stories. I believe Snapchat's popularity is because of the platform's format, not the vibe. Snapchat was the first platform to include stories, making it the first choice for people using that specific feature. I believe they will continue to be successful because not only do 18-29 year olds use Snapchat, but a majority of the younger generations as well. I do agree with the fact that not many older people use Snapchat.

Student

Personally, I disagree with the poll about using stories. I do agree that SnapChat is the original platform when it comes to posting stories and I believe that's all the more reason why it's more common on this app than on others. I think that SnapChat offers something different than Instagram and Facebook. I believe that the three apps in general are all very different from one another. Saying this, I think that each app should just do what they do best instead of trying to morph into another one.

Student

I would agree with this statement but a new developing story made me think differently. Although it seems that more people use Snapchat, Instagram surpassed the number of users on Snapchat with its new Instagram stories. I think that if Snapchat keeps making the best ideas for this feature, they will stay on top.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/13/instagram-stories-bigger-than-snapchat/

Student

I think Snapchat is probably still the king of this type of social media because there is more to offer and it offers a sense of privacy that the other platforms like Instagram and Facebook do not offer. Since we can choose who sees our snapchats, it gives more of a sense of comfort than other platforms.

 

Student

I am not a Snapchat user but when Snapchat came out it was a boom and everyone around me used it. I think the reason why people used snapchat was because they can share picture/videos and it will be deleted after 24 hour which it wasnt permanent. Snapchat had different functions than Facebook or Instagram so I think that could have made Snapchat a success.

Student

I definitely think that's a reason why snapchat is so popular. Although other platforms are adding “stories” I think snapchat remains special because it's more private.

Student

I agree that SnapChat is popular because it isn't Instagram or Facebook. I know a lot of people that use SnapChat because their family members are on Facebook or Instagram. They post content that they would not want their family to see (which is a problem itself). So as long as younger audience's family members are not on their snapchats, they are safe in the game.

Student

I agree that the biggest appeal to Snapchat is that its focus differs from Instagram and Facebook. Each of these platforms offers different components to its users despite the many overlaps the platforms share. Snapchat is considerably more "casual" than Instagram and Facebook because the content shared is only temporary. In a way, it makes using Snapchat seem less "risky" because you are only putting out content for a limited amount of time and you can decide who sees it.

Student

SnapChat is one of the fastest growing Social Media outlets, and I believe 100% with you. It's not SnapChats format which seperates them from Facebook and Instagram, but as you worded it rather its "vibe". I believe SnapChat is so popular because they were the first ones to make stories, etc. Now when another Social Media outlet does it, it just seems like a very unpopular idea because im not sure anyone is willing to make the full switch away from Snapchat. Hearing Snapchat in songs, as well as advertisments and billboards made it very popular amoungst people today, especially among the high school and college aged citizens. 

Student

From my experience, everything I post on SnapChat feels a lot more temporary. I enjoy being able to post knowing that a story will disappear after 24 hours, while an individual "snap" I send will disappear after 10 seconds. I think many millenials enjoy the freedom of expression they have with this platform and I feel that SnapChat is a lot more relaxed. Another comment I have is that I find Instagram stories annoying. I go on instagram to look at the photos my followers post and with the new addition of stories I feel that my feed is a lot more cluttered and hard to navigate. Another addition I don't quite understand is that now on Instagram and Facebook, users can "go live" meaning they record videos of themselves that followers can watch simultaneously. I feel that both networks don't need to have this function especially considering they are owned by the same company. I think SnapChat is popular with younger generations because they feel, similarly to me that it is less serious. SnapChat is a carefree environment because everything you post disappears shortly after and people are more willing to be more relaxed on this app.

Student

I agree that snapchat's popularity has to do with it offering something different from Facebook and Instagram. Even though Facebook and Instagram have stories now, it doesn't feel the same as using Snapchat. I have a different group of people on my Snspchat compared to Facebook. I wouldn't use Facebook stories the same way I use Snapchat because of family members and random acquaintances I am friends with on Facebook. Snapchat is a platform that allows people to share moments with friends of their choosing rather than extended family members and older generations.

Student

I think I can agree with you that Snapchat is popular because of its vibe. For me, at least, it is very relaxed. I feel comfortable posting about myself, my family, my life, etc. on the platform regardless of the quality of the content. For Facebook and Instagram, however--two platforms that originated with the basis of permanent content--the vibe has continued to be that of, "If you post it, it should be quality and you better not mind it being seen by anyone." Maybe this is because I have more friends on Facebook and Instagram, maybe it is because Snapchat offers a "screenshot" option so I know if people are screenshotting my content. I'm not sure the reason. But, I would predict that it has something to do with the number of people who will see the content along with the fact that both Facebook and Instagram were created as social media platforms with long-lasting content.

Student

I also agree that Snapchats popularity is not based on format, but rather the vibe of the app. Snapchat became hugely popular because they were the first app to offer disappearing photos and content. Another reason I strongly believe that Snapchat will not be hurt by Facebook and Instagram is because it has differentiated its self from those social media platforms. Snapchat allows users to send short 10-second-or-fewer photos to just one person, a group of people or they can post the picture to their story allowing all of their friends to view it. Facebook and Instagram do not have these options. Snapchat also makes this sharing of photos into somewhat of a competition with Snapchat streaks. A streak is the little number posted next to your most frequently snapped friend's name. If you and your friend snap a picture to each other at least once within a 24 hour period your number goes up. Snapchat users love having long streaks with their buddies. For these reasons, I believe that Snapchat has differentiated their app enough to beat out the competition and keep users invested in their app.

Student

I am going to have to agree with you. I don't believe Snapchat is popular because of the format. It has to be because it was the first initial application to have these "disappearing photos and videos". The fact that Instagram and now Facebook has copied them people are looking to stay loyal to the orginal creators. I will stay loyal to Snapchat not because of the format but because they started this industry and I like Snap better. 

Student

I would definitely agree that Snapchat is not popular because of it's format, but because of the hype and vibe surrounding it. Snapchat was the first app of it's kind, and many people like that it is different from other forms of social media. I like it, because I can choose who I share my individual disappearing photos with, but I also have the option of posting to stories if I want a bigger audience of ALL my Snapchat friends. In the end, I really don't think that the Stories feature on Facebook and Instagram will hurt Snapchat, as that is not the biggest feature on Snap. The disappearing indivudal photos will probably always be the top used function on the app, and that feature alone separates it from other medias like Facebook. 

Student

I absolutely agree with you. Snapchat was the original platform to introduce the story feature and will continue to generate more content on it from its users as opposed to Facebook and Instagram. This is solely because of the generational gap found on each platform and the type of audience found on them. In addition, Snapchat continues to generate fresh content for its users by using face recognition to add wacky filters, while the competition sits back and lacks originality.  

Student

I would agree that is one of the reasons Snapchat is popular, and that it also plays a role in how people use it, tending to be less cautious on Snapchat and more open, whereas on Facebook and Instagram they may lead a more closed and scripted life. 

Student

I think why SnapChats is so popular because of it is the first app have the story function, people get fun when they first get in touch with this function, but like instagram or facebook, they are social media app in our life, they have their own functions already, when they enstablish the new function, people would not like to use that to instead before how they use. Furthermore, "story" as an interesting function just like some camera app, there have animal faces instead of your face when you taking selfie. 

Student

I think why SnapChats is so popular because of it is the first app have the story function, people get fun when they first get in touch with this function, but like instagram or facebook, they are social media app in our life, they have their own functions already, when they enstablish the new function, people would not like to use that to instead before how they use. Furthermore, "story" as an interesting function just like some camera app, there have animal faces instead of your face when you taking selfie. 

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
4/13/2017
Social Media