Snapchat wants to bridge the gap between them and Chinese businesses. Source: Shutterstock

Snapchat rolls out ‘group stories’ to stay ahead of Instagram

IMITATION is perhaps the sincerest form of flattery, but in Snapchat’s case, it can actually be bad for business. As reported by Bloomberg, Snapchat’s first earning report after going public showed user growth was slower than anticipated.

The problem lies not in the quality of its product, but in the urgent need to set itself apart from all the Facebook-owned rivals that are cloning its products left, right and center. More specifically, Facebook-owned Instagram has blatantly copied Snapchat’s very popular “stories” feature.

While everybody knew Snapchat was the original creator of “stories,” Instagram has far more users than Snapchat. In fact, 25 weeks after its launch, Instagram “stories” reported 150 million daily users and Shapchat reported growth had slowed 82 percent months after the copycat feature had launched. Instagram was apparently also reporting higher engagement compared to Snapchat.

In short, Snapchat needs a plan and they need to move fast – which is why the original disappearing-picture platform has just launched a “group story” feature, which lets its users collaborate on stories.

Facebook has been orchestrating a takedown of Snapchat for quite some time now, since its efforts to acquire the social media app for US$3 billion were rejected back in 2013.

Back in February, Mark Zuckerberg admitted (without mentioning Snapchat) during a quarterly earnings call Facebook was essentially using Instagram to take Snapchat down.

“Growth and engagement on Instagram have been strong. We announced in December Instagram now has over 600 million monthly actives and recently passed 400 million daily actives,” he said.

“Instagram Stories reached 150 million daily actives just five months after the launch, and we’ve added new features like Boomerang and Live into Stories and I’m excited to see that continue to grow.”

You can bet Facebook will probably clone the “group stories” feature next as it stops at nothing to make Snapchat regret its US$3 billion dollar decision. The newly-public company might not be able to clock the meteoric growth it originally planned on – it’s hard to move forward when one of the largest tech companies in the world has a vendetta against you.