NEW YORK: Anecdotal evidence suggests that Snapchat's thunder has been stolen by Instagram in the six months since the latter launched its clone of Snapchat Stories.

TechCrunch reported that a range of analytics providers, social media celebrities, and talent managers have seen a decline in usage of Snapchat Stories since August last year, with people posting less and view counts falling.

"Overall, from August to November 2016, the average unique viewers per Snapchat Story … decreased about 40%," according to Nick Cicero, CEO of creative studio and social video analytics platform Delmondo.

And a social media talent boss reported that "almost all" of his stars had seen opens on Snapchat Stories fall 20-25% since August while up to 10% of their Instagram followers were opening their Instagram Stories each day.

Justin Rezvani, CEO of influencer marketing platform TheAmplify, said: "On average our influencer community is seeing 28% higher open rate on Instagram than Snapchat."

Several of TechCrunch's contacts highlighted Snapchat's removal of its Auto-Advance feature as one possible reason for the decline in views.

"Snapchat messed up by letting people choose whose stories they view individually," said Kwasi Asare, CEO of media marketing agency Fighter Interactive. "Instagram has more of a flow where it allows you to watch the stories of everyone you're following."

Another complaint was Snapchat's failure to embrace creators. Marketers too have found Instagram more amenable to their needs, as it offers not only advertising products but also associated metrics, something that Snapchat has been slower to embrace.

TechCrunch identified several trends, including existing Snapchat users exporting and syndicating their Stories to Instagram for extra reach, and latecomers going back to their existing Instagram accounts where they found it easier to reach more people.

And those new to the Stories concept, meanwhile, have found that "Instagram is good enough that there's no need to sign-up for Snapchat".

Data sourced from TechCrunch; additional content by Warc staff