By: Katherine Wylie
It is no secret that our favorite social media platforms have begun to replicate even the most classic features from other platforms. This practice has allowed for each platform to be less specialized, leaving them unrecognizable from their original purposes.
This incorporation has led to users creating accounts on multiple platforms that now accomplish largely the same thing. Remember when Instagram was for pictures, Facebook was for statuses and photo albums, Snapchat was for disappearing messages and photos (for you sketchy folks), and Twitter was for punchy jokes?
Now, each platform has borrowed such features from each other to an extent that has made competition for user loyalty fiercer than ever. Most recently, this competition has sprung up in the form of “live stories.”
These in-the-moment style posts began on Snapchat in October of 2013. Users could now post a photo or video that disappeared within 24 hours, as opposed to the maximum 10 seconds they were used to. This monumental development catapulted the “live” posting trend to the forefront of social developers’ vision.
This progression led Instagram to unveil an identical feature in August of 2016. Instagram users could now post permanently to their profiles as they had done before, or post more fleeting images, videos and Boomerangs for 24 hours before automatic deletion. This rather obvious adoption of the “live story” function left some Snapchat devotees almost personally offended by the copycat nature of this development.
Though some users use both platforms for each of their respective features, some have taken a more oppositional approach by strictly using one platform or the other. This methodology is backed by a few differentiating characteristics that allow users to choose exactly how they want to post their content and with whom they wish to share it.
Instagram was established first, and has a much larger user base. Most Instagram users have drastically more followers on Instagram than friends on Snapchat, and as such, filter the types of photos and videos they post to their much more scrutiny-prone Instagram community.
Another factor to consider is the perceived spontaneity of each platform. While Instagram is more curated by each user, Snapchat feels authentic, spontaneous and oftentimes more relaxed than its Instagram counterpart.
Both of these platforms have garnered a massive following, and many users have accounts with each. However, it is important to know the benefits and pitfalls of each before posting your content to your social network.
As our fearless leader, Kelli Matthews, once said, “If you’re talking to me, please don’t put it on Snapchat, but if I’m talking to you [the class], I should most certainly put it on Snapchat.”
Katherine is a public relations major who will graduate this June. She is an account executive working with JAJ Enterprises and serves as AHPR firm editor.