Snapchat is losing at its own game

Despite a much-anticipated IPO, Snapchat’s user growth has slowed 82% since Instagram Stories launched.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram announced that its Stories feature, which is a clone of the ephemeral messaging app Snapchat, has now hit 200 million daily active users.

In addition to the milestone announcement, the company also announced a slew of new tools and features. In a blog post, Instagram said: “ turns your selfie into a sticker so you can quickly share your reaction or trade faces with someone (or something) in your story.”

Geostickers in For New Cities: If you live in or are traveling to Chicago, London, Madrid or Tokyo, you’ll also start seeing geostickers for your city over the coming days. All of the geostickers have been designed by local community members to help bring the cities they call home to life. You’ll be able to see the artist’s username when you tap the sticker, so you can learn more about their unique artwork.”

“We’re rolling out a shortcut to your favourite stickers. After tapping the smiley face, simply swipe right to see your recently used stickers. Also, when you record a video using “Hands-Free” mode, tap and hold the button to see a timer that counts down to when the video begins.”

At last count (February), Snapchat had just over 161 million daily active users. That means it has taken Instagram Stories, which only launched in 2016, less than a year to overtake Snapchat at its own game.

Since Instagram Stories launched, Snapchat has taken several hits from Facebook’s seeming obsession with cloning its model. The ephemeral (disappearing) videos and images factor has now been replicated across all of the platforms that Facebook owns — including Facebook itself.

Despite a much-anticipated IPO, Snapchat’s user growth has slowed 82% since Instagram Stories launched. It’s share price off its recent IPO has also been declining almost continuously a day after it the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Will it crash and burn? Or will it hold its own and bounce back from Facebook’s hits?

For now, nobody holds the answers to those questions, but everyone is watching.

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