Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat are some of the biggest social media platforms out there. They are constantly competing to get that top spot. Facebook who bought Instagram back in 2012 for $1 Billion. Then one year later, Facebook offered Snapchat $3 Billion in cash for their company. This offer was rejected and it seems that Mark Zuckerberg is getting worried about their success.
Facebook and Instagram are raking in the numbers but the need for social media platforms to keep up to date are key to their success. These platforms are constantly growing and changing. Instagram recently released Instagram stories. A function that allows you to upload a short video for all your followers to see that will disappear in 24 hours. Sound familiar? Well, it should because Snapchat has this EXACT functionality.
Ever since Snapchat turned down Mark Zuckerberg’s offer, he has been a little envious of their entire platform. To understand the entire story, you should know a little bit about Snapchat. Let me explain.
A Brief History of Snapchat
Way back in 2008, now CEO Evan Spiegel was attending Stanford University where he met Reggie Brown. Both Spiegal and Brown joined a fraternity and met Bobby Murphy, the CTO for Snapchat. It was Brown who was texting a girl and said that he wished the pictures he was sending to her would disappear. Spiegel went into entrepreneur mode and immediately thought this was a genius idea.
Come 2011 Snapchat was born, although it was originally called “Pictaboo”. Weird right? Imagine it was still called that now. The three founders worked on the app all summer, with Spiegel even creating the little ghost logo that they still use to this day.
Brown got greedy and was booted from the company by Spiegel and Murphy in 2012 and they changed the name to Snapchat. The app hit 100,000 users and was valued at $4.25 million. As you can tell things were really starting to pick up.
Facebook’s Clone Ultimate Failure
In December 2012, Facebook launched an app that can only be described as a complete clone of Snapchat called “Poke”. The Facebook copy of Snapchat received a lot of bad press which in turn worked well for Snapchat. The numbers for Snapchat grew massively, reaching 60 million snaps per day by February of 2013 and 150 million by May of the same year. It was around this time that I downloaded the app myself. Not that you care but I thought I would tell you anyway.
With the numbers doing so well for Snapchat, “Poke” struggled and inevitably flopped. The bad press hit Facebook hard and Zuckerberg knew that Snapchat was a viable threat. This when his obvious obsession started.
Snapchat Continuing to Grow
Snapchat was rolling out updates all the time and it was then valued at around $800 million in June 2013. Snapchat Stories were released in Fall of 2013. The functionality that Facebook/Instagram has blatantly copied.
The feature was a massive success and it was around this time that Zuckerberg offered Snapchat the $3 Billion in cash. Now you are thinking “Why on earth would you turn down that much money?!?!”. Well that’s a good question. Most people would have seen the offer and jumped on it. Not Spiegel and Murphy. They saw how popular the app was and it was only going to get more popular.
6 months on from its previous valuation, it was reported the company had almost tripled its value to $2 Billion. Fast forward another 7 months to July 2014, the company is now valued at $10 Billion. Now you can see why turning down Zuckerberg’s offer was the best idea the Founders have ever had.
Zuckerberg’s Obsession is Clear
Jump all the way to present day. With Instagram being owned by Facebook, Zuckerberg launches Instagram Stories. An exact copy of Snapchat’s Stories which was released a couple of years back. The reaction to Instagram’s massively bold move has been mixed. Some media outlets calling the new functionality “Instagram’s New Snapchat Feature”.
Now as I am writing this post the update has been out almost a week. Some very big YouTubers such as iJustine saying they like Instagram’s version of stories better and some saying the update is extremely unoriginal. Thing is they are both technically right. In my opinion anyway.
Some aspects of the feature Instagram has made better and some aspects of the feature is way better on Snapchat. Personally, I prefer snapchat as I like to keep the two apps separate. Instagram for uploading pictures i’ve taken and Snapchat for capturing things that happen in the moment.
What It All Comes Down To
With the clone app “Poke”, the $3 Billion offer and now with Instagram Stories, it is obvious that Zuckerberg has been worried about Snapchat since its humble beginnings. Zuckerberg can’t own the competition so he decides to copy them.
Currently Instagram Stories is growing on people. More and more people seem to be using it everyday, from what I can see via my personal Instagram feed anyway. However, we will have to wait and see what happens in the next few months. The water is certainly starting heat up between these two major competitors.
What do you think? Is Zuckerberg sweating and clearly showing it? Do you think you will use the Instagram stories or will you stick with Snapchat? Let me know in the comments.