Here's the important difference between Snapchat and Instagram's lookalike apps

While there have been mixed reactions to Instagram’s me-too version of Snapchat, there’s one big difference between the two social services: the landing screen.

The contrasting landing screens, which was pointed out by Alex Huang of Fast Company, reveals an important difference in philosophy between the two companies.

Here’s why:

When I open Snapchat, my own awkward smile stares back at me, forever prompting me to snap another selfie. Instagram, on the other hand, immediately shows me the current stories shared by the people I follow.

This difference may seem small, but Huang emphasised that these two landing pages indicate different priorities between the platforms.

Snapchat, he said, is prioritising content creation while Instagram is prioritising content consumption. By making its landing screen your camera, Snapchat is first asking users to create. And while Instagram’s latest update may use almost identical technology, the app’s landing page remains the Instagram feed, with the disappearing stories now scrollable at the top. Effectively, Instagram is first asking users to consume.

While these are clearly two different approaches, I think we can ultimately agree that both social media platforms are reaching for the same end: getting more users to spend more time in-app.

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