But there’s a surprising group of people who are particularly excited about the new development: Snapchat stars.
Like Vine, YouTube, and Instagram, Snapchat has a group of mega-popular, homegrown stars who make big-bucks by working with brands. They will do account take-overs for companies like Burger King or Walmart or get paid to create original, sponsored content on their own feeds.
But Snapchat doesn’t make life easy for creators. The app doesn’t have a user suggestion page or an easy way to share Snaps, so it’s difficult for stars to grow their audiences or go “viral” in the typical sense.
Instagram, however, has a “discovery” portal that features regular users instead of just publishers and events, as well as a more straightforward search interface. Plus, there are more brands already using it.
For the handful of big Snapchatters Business Insider talked to, Instagram’s copycat Stories product look so far like a big, potentially lucrative opportunity that they can’t wait to start toying with.
Why they’re excited
Right now, Snapchatter Mike Platco has about 10,000 followers on Instagram, a trivial number compared to the audience of ~300,000 he has amassed on Snapchat thanks to his creative drawings and goofy antics.
But now that he can bring his Snapchat charms to Instagram Stories, he’s excited to start trying to build that audience up — while hopefully porting over the kind of clients he already has. He thinks the similarities will be an advantage: he already specialize in creating content in the non-static, creative format that he thinks brands will be looking for.
“I’m really excited to start experimenting with it, to see if it has the legs to be another great spot for cool stuff to live,” he says of Instagram Stories.
Snapchatter Branden Harvey agrees and says he’s already starting to talk to his Snapchat clients about Instagram Stories. Instagram has many more users (brands and regular people alike) than Snapchat: 500 million monthly active users vs ~100 million daily active users.
Harvey himself doesn’t expect to stop creating Snapchat Stories, but he does think Instagram’s new product could affect the amount of new “influencers” joining.
“I’ve had a few friends who are influencers who were thinking of jumping onto Snapchat who texted me and said, ‘Whelp, now I don’t have to join,’ ” he says. “I don’t think brands or influencers with existing platforms on Snapchat will abandon ship, but I think people who were on the edge about joining Snapchat will think, ‘We don’t need a presence here.'”
Cyrene Quiamco, who quit her job last fall to focus on Snapchat full-time, says that her frustration with the app’s lack of discovery for users like her has eyeing Instagram eagerly. She’s not planning to abandon SC, but if Instagram caters more to creators… who knows?
“It’s all up for grabs,” she says. “I’m up for grabs.”
Nick Cicero, the CEO of creator-network company Delmondo, says that brands he’s talked to so far are into it. Many will still want to chase the specific audience that Snapchat has more ownership over, but there are a lot of advantages to trying the same kind of content on Instagram.
“Instagram has a much more defined ad tool, audience data, analytics, and API,” he says. “There are a lot of brands that have already grown really large Instagram audiences. Now they can turn on Stories and create that same live-ish content.”