Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

Snapchat shrugs off Instagram threat

News, 12 May 2017
Topics

LONDON: Despite high-profile copied features from Facebook's Instagram, Snap remains confident that it can resist the social network's competition as the company posts losses of $2.2 billion.

Speaking to investors on an earnings call, CEO Evan Spiegel was defiant about the threat from Facebook's Instagram, which has, in recent months, borrowed heavily from the Snapchat playbook.

"The bottom line is, like, if you want to be a creative company, you've got to get comfortable with and basically enjoy the fact that people are going to copy your products if you've got great stuff" he told the conference call.

However, with news of record losses in its first quarter as a public company, Snap is now facing repeated comparisons to Twitter, which struggled to grow when Facebook began to both copy some of the micro-blogging service's best features, and sort content to streamline the user experience.

Snapchat faces similar problems today, after posting a 5% growth in daily active users this quarter, up just 1.8% on its Q4 2016 report. Growth blocked, TechCrunch suggests, by Instagram's introduction of similar Stories and 3D sticker functions.

Elsewhere, the Snapchat approach –reminiscent of Apple's secretive development and big reveals– regarding metrics, has caused consternation among publishers.

In Germany, for instance, publishers and agencies are unsure of Snap's use of US performance as evidence for future success in Europe.

"We don't get any real figures to show reach here. It's just, well, we're Snap. It's a flaw that many of the U.S. startups have had when approaching the European markets," Norman Wagner, MD at MediaCom Beyond Advertising, told Digiday.

The intransigence follows a similar trend within Snap that expected significant outlay from partners (and investors) while giving away no control.

In late April, it was announced that Vice, Sky Sports, Spiegel Online and Bild would be the platform's first content partners.

In part, the expansion of ‘Discover' in Germany, (pages run by publishers in the style of a magazine that provide an immersive content experience), took time due to Snap's need for publishers to guarantee a certain output and personnel quota, Oliver von Wersch, an independent publishing consultant, told Digiday.

In addition, von Wersch said, the platform "wanted to have complete control on things, including monetization." However, this failure to distinguish European numbers isn't new.

For both brands and publishers, sharing more data would help them invest, says Max Embert, a social media specialist from Publicis, "especially data that enables the agency to consult the client." 

Data sourced from the Financial Times, TechCrunch, Digiday, The Drum; additional content by WARC staff.

Topics