Ever since Instagram launched its new story function earlier this month, the social media world has been plunged into chaos. Prior to this act of dissonance (sorry Insta, I do love you but this was undoubtedly a super sneaky move – can anyone say uhh CLONE of Snapchat?), the paths were relatively clear cut. Perfection on Instagram, your true, goofy self on Snapchat, Facebook for the more political of thoughts and discussions and Twitter for work or chatting shit in 140 characters. The launch of this new Instagram feature pretty much threw us all for a loop.
Instagram VS Snapchat
While admittedly a little late to the Snapchat fandom, 0ver the past year I’ve really grown rather fond of it. Snapchat’s much smaller, engaged, and ultimately relatively new audience have allowed for a much more carefree, uncurated, and ultimately real rendition of our lives, all of which is reportedly making us a whole lot happier than other social media apps. Snapchat accompanied us to the middle of heaving crowds at gigs, joined us on our sing-a-longs at the club, got back into bed with us at the end of the day and etc. Indeed, Snapchat allowed us access to places we had never been before, and potentially may never go; backstage at fashion week, inside Kylie Jenner’s house, bed, and head, and even to Mecca!
Stars have been made on Snapchat. Case in point DJ Khaled who’s ascent to household name was thanks, in large part, to his Snapchat presence and that infamous lost at sea incident. Personalities developed and capitalized on. Indeed, this is instant gratification for a Vlogging, Social Media generation. One that ultimately marked a shift away from the hyper-perfection that platforms such as Instagram seemed to base themselves on. A shift away from the anxiety and pressure to post something that would make your phone ding ding ding forever more with all the likes. In a Snapchat world, likes don’t matter. Neither, almost, do the views. After all no one can see how many people are watching, other than you. All this with a multitude of awesome filters and stickers and time stamps and etc with which to enrich your story.
This all reads a little like an obituary to Snapchat. And I guess that’s kind of because it is, in a way. Well, at the very least it’s an obituary to Snapchat as we know it. Because we love numbers, this Generation Y of ours, and numbers are, to put it simply, addictive as phuck.
With a ready made audience you no longer need to attempt to lure over to a new platform, anything you post on Instagram Story will be viewed by a much, much larger number of people. I guess it’s simple maths. With over 10K followers on Instagram (follow me here) I’ve already found I’m getting literally four times as many views on my Instagram Story than I am on Snapchat. And it’s kind of hard not to be tempted by that.
But where the positives lie, so do the negatives. With such a huge audience we no longer want to take them with us into the middle of heaving crowds at gigs, on our sing-a-longs at the club, into bed with us at the end of the day. With such a huge audience – one that has yet to see the quirky personality behind the ‘perfect’ photo, we’re shy again, we’re trying to ‘perfect’ again. We’re kind of boring again.
Not to mention the fact that other than the audience, Instagram doesn’t have any of the other elements that make Snapchat so fun to use, namely the filters (about that butterfly one though…), geo-tags, stickers and, well… everything else. Although the fact that you can upload anything off your camera roll (if saved in the last 24 hours) is a massive plus. Particularly because you can use all of Snapchat’s fun filters, save it, and then upload onto your Instagram Story. I have no doubt Instagram will soon up their filter and etc game soon too though.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens as we get more accustomed to the different platforms. After all, the only thing constant is change.
How To Ace It…
That said, there are still similarities between the two, with both ultimately story-telling apps of a different capacity. A few months back I spoke to Yvan Rodic, best known as photographer Facehunter, to get some tips on how to tell the best story for Refinery29.
Having made his name by leveraging his social media prowess, Facehunter recently launched ‘A Little Nation’, an agency that focuses mainly on helping brands embrace the Snapchat revolution with strategy, creative concepts, production and analytics. Below, his tips on how best to Snap, or indeed Insta-Story. If you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it right… right?
Be A Caricature Of Yourself
DJ Khaled is probably the best example of this. “I think what’s interesting about him is he’s created this character who is quite genuine, but who is almost a caricature of himself,” explains Rodic. “It’s like personal marketing; if you have your own special identity and your own jargon and words, that’s something that will appear naturally… People get addicted to a bit of repetition; it’s like a song that you sometimes need to listen to 10 times before you like it. Once you get someone’s vibe if you don’t hate them, you’ll probably love them.”
Don’t Try Too Hard
That said – don’t be a dick about it. “It’s good to show your life but some people make it seem easy and natural and cool while some people are trying too hard to show you that they’re privileged and it just feels so obnoxious,” says Rodic. “The key point is to be yourself. There’s enough social media where you can create and curate an image, but on Snapchat I think it’s good to let yourself go.”
Tell A Story
Narrative is good, as are things that make viewers feel they’re going through your day with you. Adding times and things like music. “I like to tell a story that has an atmosphere,” he says. “If you were to watch a movie without a soundtrack, I don’t think it would be quite the same movie.”
Give People Access To A New World
OK so maybe you’re not chilling backstage at the shows or travelling the world every other day, but if you give people access to a lifestyle or places that they may not otherwise have access to, they’ll want to watch.
Don’t Show Everything
Yes the awesome thing about Snapchat is that it’s real and in the moment and unedited but that doesn’t mean you have to capture every single moment of your day. “Curate but don’t over curate,” explains Yvan. “It’s okay if you don’t speak for six hours. People won’t miss you.”
Keep It Interesting
“I try to balance it out and be aware of the diversity of the looks of the snaps,” he adds. This can be achieved by making sure you’re not snapping the same frame 20 times in a row, and by using things like filters, adding text, doodles etc.
And if all else fails…
“There are lots of people who generate so much fascination that even if the narrative is poor, people will still watch. If you’re Kim Kardashian, even if you post bad pictures, people will still be obsessed with you.”
What do you guys think? Are you team Snapchat or team Instagram? Or, like me, are you trying to keep up with both? xx