I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the new Instagram Stories, which competes directly with Snapchat’s Stories, will reduce the need of advocacy and political campaigns to rush to colonize Snapchat. Stories is a feature that allows many people to contribute to a single aggregated thread on Snapchat, and now Instagram. Used with geo-fencing, for example, Stories allow everyone attending a rally or a conference to post to a collective forum on either of these respective platforms. That helps to create not just a sense of interaction with the event organizer, but a real sense of collaboration. For political campaigns, as I have written before, this can go a long way towards improving trust in the candidate and political efficacy.

Instagram logo and Snapchat logo side by side on a gradient

So why does Instagram’s new Stories feature forestall the need to colonize Snapchat? There are several reasons to consider:

  • Instagram and Snapchat both reach the same Millennial audiences that campaigns drool over
  • While Snapchat boasts 150 million users, Instagram has 500 million
  • Instagram, according to the Pew Research Center, is at least as important a social media platform for youth and young adults as Snapchat
  • Unlike Snapchat, which is primarily a peer-to-peer platform designed for private conversations, Instagram is a social network, primarily designed for mass sharing of content
  • Millennials typically use Snapchat to avoid being bombarded by campaign and marketing content, so campaigns on Snapchat would be seen by many as intruders

As I have written before, it still makes sense for campaigns to have a presence on Snapchat, as it is popular, hip and has yet to reach its full potential. But with the launch of Instagram’s Stories, the rush to make deep inroads into Snapchat is no longer warranted.

That is my prediction, I said it, it’s out there, so I am not going to take it back. Time will tell if I am right.