It’s an answer to the question we’ve all been waiting for: How is Instagram different from Snapchat?
Instagram introduced Instagram Stories in 2016 – three years after Snapchat (SNAP) created a nearly identical feature. A story consists of 10-second videos and photos that disappear in 24 hours with very similar filters.
Although Instagram wasn’t the first to create stories, it’s taken a product Snapchat developed and improved on it by giving users access to all their favorite things in one place, according to Instagram’s COO Marne Levine, speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. on Monday.
Instagram may not wipe out rival Snapchat because of the app’s loyal community, but it has been able to slow Snapchat’s growth as the two services compete for users. TechCrunch reported that there’s been a 15% to 40% drop in the number of people viewing Snapchat stories after Instagram stories debuted, and a decline in the number of stories that users posted as well.
Levine says Instagram Stories help viewers see the whole story, not just the highlights. She used an example of following one of her friends on Instagram. Her friend is baking a cake with her daughter and posts a picture of the final product on her page. Meanwhile, Levine checked out her friend’s Instagram Story and sees photos and videos of the entire cake baking process.
Levine says: “That’s what strengthens the relationship. It’s what makes us feel closer together because I feel like I am there.”
Instagram lets businesses build more effective ads by posting photos or videos on not just the business’ home page, but by using the Instagram Story feature to reach a more broad audience and to deliver a more comprehensive message to consumers, Levine noted. She says Instagram lets users follow all of their favorite people, things, and companies in one place, as well as the ability to discover new ones.
However, when asked how Instagram plans to compete against Snapchat, whose users spend twice as much time daily on the app than on Instagram, Levine didn’t seem too worried. Instagram has the support of Facebook’s technology, resources, and brains by tapping into what Facebook has already developed, she added.
To prove the point, she cited data pointing to Instagram’s growth. One minute out of every five people spend on mobile is spent on Facebook and Instagram combined. Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram users are spending 50% more time watching videos and are creating four times as many videos than they did last year.