We all got the message this morning. Snapchat “stories” is here.
For those of us who may not know what Snapchat is: it is a social media application for mobile devices. The whole idea is to send pictures to your friends, but theres a catch: the pictures are automatically deleted after a maximum of 10 seconds. The picture can set different lengths of time for the picture to last on the receiver’s phone, but the maximum is 10. The app is perfect for sending your friends a goofy picture of your face that you never want them to save. Or, as Bloomberg Businessweek described the app, it is “the people’s champ of smartphone peep shows.”
No matter how it gets used, the small social media app is competing with the big boys. To begin offering more than pictures, Twitter — which filed its form s-1 today — created Vine. Vine allows users to share small videos. Instagram also started offering video capabilities to spice up its endless stream of still-pictures.
Snapchat hung tough and started offering video capabilities too. But now Snapchat is looking to lead the pack. With its rare mass-message from the teamsnapchat to all Snapchat users, the firm announced the newest innovation that allows users to compile images from a 24-hour period and share it with friends. Snapchat “stories” is basically an option for snappers to compile all of their normal pictures and videos in one 24-hour period and send it to friends as a Snapchat-slideshow all at once.
With the industry’s follow-the-leader nature, it will be interesting to see if Twitter, Instagram or Facebook will try and find something to counter. A Hotelling line would show the major players hovering towards the middle. The consensus to offer video capabilities only pushed the firms closer to the middle. Snapchat is trying to move away from the middle and gather more of the market with the “stories” concept. We just have to see who will follow them.