Instagram: ‘We’re launching IGTV, a new home of Instagram-exclusive video which will bring more users to the app, to spend even more time on our platform.’
Snapchat: ‘We’ve made it so you can see if it’s raining in a person’s location on Snap Map’
This may be an unfair comparison, but it does, in some ways, highlight the battle Snapchat faces as it goes up against Facebook.
Yes, this week Snapchat has unveiled some new features for Snap Map, which will highlight happenings in specific areas.
As explained by Mashable:
“Weather Effects adds animations based on what the weather is like wherever your friends are. Zoom in on their Bitmoji on the map, and you'll see animated raindrops, or sunshine, or snow. World Effects will add animations to mark events that are culturally significant in some way - these could include confetti on your birthday or other holiday-themed effects.”
Of course, with more people increasingly concerned about their privacy, Snap Maps is probably not the best feature to be highlighting right now. That, and the fact that Snap Maps has also become a key resource for those looking for on-the-ground coverage of events like natural disasters or mass shootings. Maybe, in those cases, such animations won’t quite fit.
But then again, Snapchat has repeatedly shown its audience nous, its capacity for tapping into cool trends and making them mainstream. Maybe, given its young user base, Snapchat users will welcome the more playful Maps element. Time will tell.
Either way, it does seem like a fairly minor addition, and it is oddly timed, given Instagram’s big announcements.
But what else can Snap do? The platform is always going to be compared to Facebook and its offshoots, and that comparison will always favor Facebook on user counts.
Research shows that Snapchat is still hugely popular with teens, so the app clearly knows what it’s doing.
I mean, you’d hope, for their sake.