I wrote the following paragraph the week Instagram Stories launched in August of 2016.
"Where I think Instagram holds a tremendous advantage is for the user who has 1,000+ followers and their Snapchat account is only followed by a handful of friends and family. It's so much easier to explore and find familiar accounts on Instagram whereas Snapchat does NOT make it particularly easy to explore other users accounts. For the Instagram user with 1,000+ followers, they just got a way to instantly communicate with those followers in a much more intimate context. Brands that aren't using snapchat because their demographic is people in their 30s and up were just given an ability to instantly connect with their audience that never existed before. It's hard to place a dollar amount on that, but the value that offers for small businesses and business owners is TREMENDOUS.
Instagram is working hard to stay relevant with it's audience. What will Snapchat do to innovate and differentiate itself and retain users moving forward?"
I wish I'd written down what I went around telling people after Instagram Stories launched. I repeatedly said, "Snapchat is going to lose out on the Generation X-ers and Baby Boomers. Instagram just stole that entire demographic, not to mention I won't be surprised if millennials slowly stop using Snapchat. Instagram was already ingrained in our daily use and now we have the same features as Snapchat built in to that app. The only Snapchat has going for it is filters."
Now here we are more than 6 months later and Snapchat's daily activity has plummeted. I'm seeing more and more people I know opting to use Instagram stories and forgetting about (OR EVEN DELETING) Snapchat. Most of these people realized, hey I've already got a built-in audience with Instagram. I can reach my existing 1,000+ followers via Instagram Stories instead of the 150 people that follow me on Snapchat. Most of whom follow me on Instagram already.
So what has Snapchat done to combat these changes?
That's it. Sure, the launch of Spectacles was cool. Snap (the parent company of Snapchat) did a fantastic job of generating buzz and creating scarcity. They made the Spectacles a novelty product. But basically the only people I see using Spectacles are existing influencers. YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc. Normal, every day people aren't really using Spectacles...And normal, every day people don't really care about them.
So what is Snap going to do?
Well, if I had to guess they'll make somer radical changes to Snapchat to try and innovate. OR they'll launch a totally new app or software of some type. I think that's probably where they've put all their eggs.
HOWEVER, it's worth noting that Snap's IPO is the latest buzz and it doesn't matter what they are doing wrong or right. People who invested in Snap have money bursting from their pockets. The founders of Snap feel great because they've made millions and millions. They've "succeeded". So really, they don't have to do anything. They could call it quits and walk away with their money and be golden. I think they'll try to continue innovating, but I think the fervor isn't the same as when they were just getting started. And I think whatever comes next won't be quite the innovating that Snapchat was when it launched in 2011.
I can predict all I want, but unless it makes me money...the people who invested in Snap get the last laugh regardless of what the company does next.
Is there a way to make money off of predicting business stuff?