Instagram once again steals from Snapchat

Instagram launches Event Channels, which center around a single event, like Snapchat's Live Stories

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 17, 2016
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There were multiple times where Facebook tried to copy Snapchat, from its disappearing apps like Poke and Slingshot, to adding features like face-swapping and stickers. None of this efforts really seemed to have any impact though.

As it urns out, it;'s another Facebook-owned property that might actually start really doing damage to Snapchat.

For the second time this month, Instagram has stolen a feature from Snapchat, this time with the introduction of Event Channels.

The new video channel, which will be available in Instagram's Explore tab, "collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events and more," taken by users. The company will then curate the best content to create the channel. 

If that sounds familiar, that's because it's pretty much the exact same idea behind Snapchat's Live Stories feature, in which it collects photos and videos that are location based, as in all of the content will revolve around a singular event, like a concert. That content is then curated and turned into a channel. 

Instagram not only took the idea, but it's actually improving upon it, by making the channel personalized for each user, highlighting the events they might like. Instagram can do this because it allows its users to follow accounts. So, if someone follows Lady Gaga, for example, they would likely be interested in a channel based around one of her concerts. Snapchat isn't able to do something like that, and can't offer that same level of personalization. 

Events Channels are only available in the United States right now, though Instagram is "working to bring this experience to the rest of the world soon."

This launch follows Instagram's pretty blatant rip-off of Snapchat's Stories feature at the beginning of the month. Instagram even went so far as to also name its feature as Stories. That's how little the company was trying to hide what it was doing.

Like Snapchat's product, Instagram's Stories allows users to post moments from their day, creating a narrative based on their photos and videos. Then, again like Snapchat, they will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on the user's profile grid or in feed.

The poaching of the idea was so brazen that Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom even gave Snapchat credit for the idea!

When Instagram stole the idea of Stories, many were quick to proclaim that, not only was Instagram's version better, but that it would hurt Snapchat. While it's only been a few weeks since the launch, the evidence so far shows that there hasn't been much of an impact. At least not yet. 

Information from SensorTower, provided to Business Insider earlier this week, shows that usage among the two apps has stayed relatively the same in the two weeks since, with Snapchat maintaining its slight lead over Instagram in terms of daily time spent. 

However, if Instagram keeps duplicating Snapchat's features, and doing them better than Snapchat, those numbers could easily start to change.

After all, Instagram does have the network effect on its side: the company reached half a billion total users in June, with 300 million daily active users. That's double what Snapchat is said to currently have. If Instagram can give them the best features, users might just start going where their friends already are. 

A Snapchat spokesperson declined to comment on Instagram's new feature. 

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