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New Year, New Social Innovation - RPM

8 Jan 2018 - 11:22 |

New Year, New Social Innovation

Social media networks trying to pinch each other’s audiences is no new phenomenon, but 2018 appears to have started with a rush.

Snapchat are using software that can analyse images and text from your snaps in 2017 to create a year in review video as Facebook have done for several years now. They are also introducing a new product called “Stories Everywhere” which will allow you to share Snapchat Stories outside of the app for the first time. This should make Snapchat more brand and influencer friendly, as content can be shared beyond users of Snapchat, recruiting followers and allowing content to have a longer life beyond one story.

At the same time, Instagram is testing a feature that allows you to post your Instagram Stories directly into WhatsApp as a WhatsApp Status. In WhatsApp there will be a feature similar to Snapchat where you can post photos and videos which disappear after 24 hours. While many are already using Instagram Stories, this will allow Instagram to pinch more of Snapchat’s audience as it adds the stories to a channel that people are already more used to communicating more directly, in comparison to Instagram which is less messaging, and more broadcast focussed.

As the social networks fight to become our one stop shop for all our social needs, is it time to question whether by trying to do everything, they are diluting their identity? There is a reason we choose to use Instagram to share a beautifully curated holiday shot, Snapchat to send a dog filter selfie and WhatsApp for a group chat. They are set up best for those purposes, and by trying to do everything, social networks risk becoming completely interchangeable. Would it not be better for social networks to own who they are and deliver their best experience to their audience, that really fits in with who they are as a brand?  Innovation must happen, social networks need to keep changing and evolving, but these copycat techniques do not seem like necessarily the best choice. We shall have to see what the rest of 2018 brings.

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