When Will Snapchat Finally Die?

In the seemingly never-ending battle of “who did it first?” Instagram may soon be taking a page out of Snapchat’s book. Snapchat, the social media platform that popularized individual photo-sharing, is well known for having user-sent pictures and messages disappear after a short period of time. While Instagram and Facebook have since integrated Snapchat’s “Stories” and face-filter features onto their own platforms, Snapchat’s disappearing message feature remained untouched. Now, it seems like that may not be true for much longer.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Instagram is currently developing a feature that allows users to send each other messages that will eventually disappear – just like Snapchat. The feature may not be ready for testing yet, but it is not hard to imagine Snapchat executives getting a little bit nervous. Yet, Snapchat has withstood so much in the past, so do they really have to worry?

As I mentioned, both Facebook and Instagram have taken features previously unique to Snapchat and made them their own. Now, around 500 million users use the Instagram Story feature every day, while Snapchat has only 210 million daily active users. Snapchat may have created the feature, but Instagram is now reaping the rewards. It has gotten to the point where the Instagram Story feature actually offers more options than Snapchat. Yet, Snapchat is still one of the most popular social media platforms around the world – even despite reporting frequent financial losses.

Looking back at platforms like MySpace that, despite its popularity at the time, was eventually overtaken in user base by Facebook, you wonder how much longer Snapchat can last. But it is still tough to call. Having already survived so much competition, it could be just as valid to argue that it still has plenty of years left before it runs its course. Innovation will most likely play a key role in Snapchat’s future, and creating new features different from those of Instagram and Facebook will reveal whether or not the platform will be able to remain at the top for the long run.