Mark Zuckerberg means business. When he offers you $3 Billion to buy what he wants from you...be preapared for war if you say no.
Snapchat is wildly popular and Mark saw it coming before the world did...that's why he approached Evan Spiegel several years ago to buy the platform.
Fast forward to today...which is literally DAY TWO after Instagram rolled out it's copy-cat version of Snapchat Stories.
I think all of Snapchat-nation was initially disgusted and put-off by the move. Especially teens, who appreciate and adore ORIGINALITY in Brands. Nevertheless, it's here. And it's here...to stay.
As a business owner, I'm going to share my opinion and my plan. Ready?
But first...let me share the "real story" first. Here is my reaction after the announcement was made:
- First 15 minutes, grumble. Moan. Groan. Yet another "thing to master and figure out". Hide behind the disgust that they copied Snapchat.
- Open up the app. Actually try it. Hate on it for a few minutes.
- Wheels start churning. Realize...in disgust...and unwillingly...that this...might...be...good...for my business. But question whether teens will like it.
- Realize Teens will watch their favorite brands...no matter what. Even if they refuse to participate themselves. Besides...their moms...are a huge part of my Instagram audience. Hmmmm....
- Wheels continue churning. Put my business hat on. Realize I can't fight against Mark Z so might as well figure out how to make this work in my business
- Jump in. With both feet.
- Fall in love. Decide to make a strategy. Before the end of Day 1.
- Officially on board
Okay...so here's my OFFICIAL take:
There are 400 million DAILY users on Instagram. Most of them are NOT on Snapchat. They will use stories. Mark Zuckerberg and IG CEO, Kevin Systrom, are smart leaders in the social space and they are banking on it (literally).
THIS IS COMPETITION...AT IT'S FINEST.
Did they copy Snapchat? YES. Are they taking credit for the platform? NO.
The CEO of Instagram was quoted as saying, when accused of the copy-cat move: "“When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.."
Oh. Wow. Okay. So there you have it.
HERE ARE 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED ABOUT INSTAGRAM STORIES:
1. INSTAGRAM IS HUGE. And successful. There are 400 Million DAILY users on Instagram. And your following on IG is probably much larger than your following on Snapchat.
2. FAMOUS BRANDS & CELEBS ARE JUMPING ON BOARD. While it's true that teens are pushing against the new feature, you can bet that they will WATCH the stories of their favorite Brands (Free People, Urban Outfitters, Celebs, and so many more have already jumped on board and this is just Day 2).
3. SNAPCHAT PROVED THAT IT WORKS. You know that I've been a huge supporter of "pulling back the curtain on your brand" for a long time. I believe stories on IG will WORK and it will be BIGGER than...Snapchat. Will I abandon Snapchat? NO! I believe there will be 2 cultures. This will work and I believe we can EXPAND into a broader base, sharing our authenticity and the sneak peek of "inside our brands".
4. PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR AUTHENTICITY: And real-life "stories" allow you to invite your INSTAGRAM AUDIENCE inside your brand!
As for me, I've decided to put the grumbling behind me and put on my marketing gloves...and box this one out in the ring of success...because it's a NEW tool to use on an audience that I ALREADY have!