Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly at the forefront of bringing Snapchat-style disappearing messages to Instagram. Bloomberg claims that Instagram’s founders refused to replicate Snapchat’s Stories feature to the platform until Zuckerberg personally asked them for it.
It is no secret that Zuckerberg repeatedly tried to acquire Snapchat, and had a serious envy for the growing popularity of the new startup. After the founders of ephemeral messaging platform decided not to sell their startup, Zuckerberg decided Instagram should copy the feature in order to not miss out on the whole new generation of social media users. However, the context behind this story differ between the company’s version of events.
A spokeswoman told the publication that Instagram “was not pressured” into adding Stories and the features was created “internally”. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom added that there were tensions over the future of Instagram, and he himself painted some of the features even before knowing that it will work out in its favor. According to Statista, Snapchat is the most popular social network among US teenagers, and its usage had been growing rapidly in 2015 and 2016.
Instagram, on the other hand, was ahead in terms of monthly active users, but Snapchat had the ability to lure users away from the photo-sharing platform. It only made sense for Zuckerberg to make that decision to copy Snapchat’s core features on Instagram.
Instagram Stories, which allows users to share disappearing messages, photos and videos, arrived last year and currently has over 300 million monthly active users. In comparison, Snapchat has 187 million daily active users, and its growth has tapered from the peaks of 2015 and 2016.
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Facebook is mired in controversies including abuse of user data, lack of data privacy and interference from foreign government. Zuckerberg testified before the House Committee yesterday and agreed with Senators that there is need for some form of regulation. On the contrary, Instagram stays safe from negative publicity, and is now the best bet for Facebook to continue making money. Another thing that works in favor of Instagram is the growth, which is faster than that of Facebook’s broader network.