Sorry Snapchat, but copycat Instagram strikes again

Another day, another innovative social media update to our favourite social media platforms. Yes, Instagram has done it again and introduced more new and exciting features. With selfie filters, an eraser tool, hashtag stickers and a reverse video mode, we’re often left wondering who the genius is behind these original ideas.

But wait… is it just us, or does this sound VERY familiar?

Don’t worry you’re not suffering from déjà vu - just a week ago Snapchat’s latest creative update included limitless snaps, looping videos, a magic eraser and a ‘draw with emoji’ feature.

Up until now, selfie filters appeared to be Snapchat’s only redeeming unique feature, after Instagram’s copycat launch of Instagram Stories in August 2016. Alas, the reoccurring trend of Instagram copying Snapchat’s updates struck again, as they launched 9 very familiar selfie filters - with more to come.

Oscar Wilde once said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure what he’d have to say about the latest social media platforms competing for our undivided selfie attention.

We can only applaud Instagram’s brashness. Unlike a more discreet form of imitation, when you spot your colleague on Facebook, wearing an amazing, ‘oh-my-god-I-need-that top’ and simultaneously purchasing one for yourself, wearing it to work and reacting with utter surprise when they express that they have the EXACT SAME ONE. Instagram has no shame. Instagram saw the update, liked it’s features and launched its own version. Simple, yet effective.

So, what does this mean for brands? Deciding which platform is best suited to your audience can be tricky. We’ve seen several brands effectively using both platforms, here are some of our favourites:

  • River Island created a selection of bespoke Snapchat filters only available in its stores. Customers were encouraged to engage at its 280 establishments via a competition offering users the chance to win a £1,000 shopping spree, once they shared an image applying a bespoke filter.
  • Missguided ran a series of games on Instagram Stories where Love Island contestants set people up on dates on the streets of Manchester and users were encouraged to interact.

These latest updates from both social channels open up even more scope to connect with users.

Overall, it’s clear that both Snapchat and Instagram are becoming imperative platforms for brands to consider, with countless opportunity to achieve widespread exposure in innovative ways.