Goodbye Instagram, hello Snapchat

Why I dumped one social photo app for another

6 MAY 2015,
Miley Cirus on Instagram
Miley Cirus on Instagram

Instagram has come a long way since I first used it, back in 2010. I had just bought an iPhone 4 which had an amazing camera on it and the app was the perfect match for it. I remember being amazed by the quality of photos posted and how great the community was. I remember using Instagram as an inspiration for my own photography, but that was in 2010. The Instagram of 2015 is just a big mess of annoying people posting photos of their nail art (?), mediocre-looking food, stupid inspirational quotes and too many unnecessary hashtags.

One of the best things about social media is that it is supposed to be fun, but Instagram stopped being fun because it was basically overtaken by idiots, people who are too worried about getting more followers so they can be seen as “popular kids”. To achieve such “status” they think they have to fill up their posts with nonsense hashtags... who made these people SEO experts? And what about the stupid memes, have you people ever heard of Tumblr? That is where you are supposed to post these things. I can even pinpoint when this shift happened, it was when Facebook bought it. The deal was great for the Instagram founders and I think they deserved every cent they made on it: they were a small team of very talented people who created a great product. But that deal definitely killed the app.

And then comes Snapchat. This popular social photo app came out of nowhere and took the mobile world by storm. I was first not keen on the idea of disappearing photos, what's the point, I used to say. But boy, I was wrong. This unique way of sharing photos makes users feel more comfortable about sharing potentially embarrassing photos, which brings the fun back to the story. When you do not have to worry about the picture sticking around things are way more tolerable. Even if you don’t like what someone has shared with you it doesn’t matter because it will be gone in a matter of seconds.

I also think that Snapchat has better advertising strategies than Instagram. While the latter is just annoying their users with auto play videos which will soon be filled with brands pushing useless stuff, Snapchat is helping brands successfully, engaging with their consumers via their stories and the Discover platform, which adds news and content empowering users and letting them choose which ads to interact within the app. Unlike the dedicated banner ad or those mandatory five seconds of pre-roll, users can swipe away if they don't relate to what is on "Discover" in a fraction of a second. The entire model is predicated on consumers.

I have been a Snapchat power user for almost a year now. When I first downloaded the app none of my friends was on it but, lately, I have noticed that more people are getting into it. I think that it is practical and easy to use and people don’t try too hard like they do on Instagram.