“Dad, look at that guy over there — he’s like 30 years old and sending Snaps”!
Being a father to two teenage boys gives you a first hand understanding of how social media works beyond the worlds of Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc. Truth be told—I had (and still have) a Snapchat account, and used it way before it ever became an integral part of my boys life. And by integral, I mean they could not exist without Snapchat—especially my fifteen year old. He seems to snap about every twenty minutes—sometimes more. Snapchat is here to stay—it’s never going away and Instagram Stories is unlikely to lure those who love the Snap away…
While I understand Snapchat’s appeal and even use it to see what media companies are doing—I’ve never become an active user myself. I’ve been on Twitter for a decade and was a Facebook and Instagram early adopter but there was something about Snapchat that just didn’t work for me personally. Maybe it was the learning curve or maybe it the UX or interface or the fact that at this point in my life (fine call me old) I could not justify the effort of creating and feeding yet another social network. So my efforts on Snapchat are more of following for professional reasons but not actual personal usage. Also, I have to be honest—I really don’t need my two teenage boys hassling me for being “an old guy” on a social network that they think was made for their generation only. This GenXer doesn’t have time for that.
Enter Instagram Stories
Simply put—I’m loving it in a McDonalds kind of way. There’s zero learning curve, I don’t have to create yet another social beast to feed and I get all the benefits that really does make Snapchat one of the most compelling social experiences out there (the ability to tell rich media and personalized stories without inundating people’s social feeds). Instagram Stories is not for people who love Snapchat. My guess is that those who do can think of an array of reasons that Snapchat is better and they will never leave it.
Good for you. Instagram Stories is not for Snapchat lovers—it’s for the rest of us.
And this is why I think Instagram Stories has a bright future. As a platform, Instagram itself was already ahead of the curve in that by design—it was a visual network vs. one being text based. It’s already got millennials hooked and has become a viable platform for cultural influencers who have built audiences primarily in social channels. It’s easy to use, has a near frictionless learning curve and we can expect to see more features that resemble the Snapchat experience—but I am hoping the platform breaks new ground for those like me who don’t simply want a Snapchat clone—but like some of the things it offers.
Instagram Stories is great news for people like me who for whatever reason could not make the full dive into Snapchat. It’s likely going to be great news for Facebook too. So far, I’m enjoying the near instant abilities to share stories in a more compelling way without the judgment of my teen boys. I suspect that they’ll think Instagram Stories is for “old people” but trust me… it’s for the rest of us.
Made it this far? A little more about me: I’m currently Global Strategy Director at Edelman, the world’s largest and only independently held Communications Marketing firm. When I’m not working with brands and organizations, I can be found sharing thoughts both here and over at Logic + Emotion. And when I’m not sharing thoughts, I can be found out on the open road or partaking in various age appropriate activities with my two snapchatting teenage boys.