The battle for top spot: Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook

It’s been a rocky start to 2018 for some of the social media giants!

When Instagram began testing adverts, they had just reached 150 million daily users. This month, Facebook has announced they are rolling out the function in the US, Brazil and Mexico.

Eytan Oren, CEO of full-service agency Block Party, said his agency tracked 100 brands for two weeks in March and found that 79 of them were using Instagram Stories, while just seven were using Facebook’s version, but a look at those same 100 brands today revealed that seven had posted Facebook Stories in the past 24 hours alone.

A year ago, the stories function in the Facebook app wasn’t well-known, or well-used. But now, the function is being used more and more, and the hope is that the ads will be targeted to get people interested in new products and services.

Instagram are also releasing new features; the ability to add an image post to your story was added last week, allowing users to easily share content. However, Snapchat is faring less well than the other “big two” after a disastrous re-design earlier in the year. The new offering from Snapchat is the introduction of un-skippable ads and it may not be their best move.

Snapchat attempt to appease unhappy advertisers

To appease brands that were not happy with short average view times on their ads—less than 2 seconds on average, according to top Snapchat advertisers, the platform has introduced forced-view 6-second adverts. As well as the possibility of angering users, the adverts don’t link to longer videos or e-commerce sites as they did previously.

Snapchat slumped in Q1 2018, with its growth rate sinking to 2.13%, down from 5.05% reported in Q4. They spent the year’s first quarter trying to capitalise on Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal while overhauling the design of its own app. Initial app store reviews were predominantly negative, but first-time installs and its App Store rank increased. Celebrity backlash and anecdotal declines in usage for some people have pushed Snap to waffle on the changes, in some cases changing the app to work more like the old version.

Will Snapchat ever dominate the market?

With Instagram and WhatsApp capitalising on Snapchat’s poor redesign, dwindling growth and declining revenue per user it may be time, according to Josh Constine, “it may be time for it and the world to face the fact that Snapchat could be a world-changing product without ever becoming a world-dominating business.”

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