Instagram ‘Stories’ Is Now More Popular Than Snapchat

Snapchat anticipates competition with other social media apps will "continue to intensify"

Illustration: Vocativ
Apr 14, 2017 at 1:38 PM ET

Instagram’s Snapchat imitation is now more popular than the original. The Facebook-owned company announced on Thursday that 200 million people use its “Stories” feature daily, 50 million of which joined since January. That’s more than Snapchat’s total users of 160 million daily users the company has accumulated since it launched five years ago.

Borrowing Snapchat’s iconic feature of ephemeral photo and video sharing, “Stories” launched in August, allowing users to share stories that stay on the app for only 24 hours. Ephemeral storytelling has become central to Facebook, which has integrated this feature on WhatsApp and its Messenger app as well.

Over the last eight months, Instagram has added more and more Snapchat-like features. On Tuesday, it announced an update to their direct messaging feature that integrates sharing temporary images and video. And just like Snapchat, Instagram will also notify users when someone takes a screenshot of their photo or video.

Despite the obvious parallels between the two apps, Facebook has gotten away with it by claiming ephemeral storytelling is just another way people connect online. “Stories are a new format that’s just starting to see broad adoption, and we’re excited to bring them to Instagram and help evolve them,” an Instagram spokesperson told Wired in August after they launched.

The rapid growth of users signify Facebook’s overall influence and how easily it can overtake its competitors. While more users are turning to Instagram to share ephemeral stories, Snapchat’s growth has slowed considerably. In February, Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, released public financial filings that said the decline was the result of changes in Android and iOS as well as, “significant competition that we anticipate will continue to intensify.”

Shapchat’s share dropped by one percent by the end of Tuesday, and its has been down from its peak by more than six percent over the past month, and they fell again by 1.5  percent mid-day on Thursday, and closed at around $20.