Just two months in, Instagram Stories is already engaging 100 million daily active viewers, i.e. roughly two thirds of the daily active user base of the main Instagram service.
Instagram Stories launched back in early August as an ephemeral story-telling service, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Snapchat Stories. The fact that its modus operandi is far from original, however, doesn't seem to have affected its success - on the contrary.
Reaching 100 million daily active users in just two months on the market is quite an impressive achievement. On the other hand, it's not really a big surprise considering that it benefits from Instagram's massive built-in audience of 150 million active users worldwide, as well as great visibility right at the top of the user interface on Instagram.
Despite some heavy criticism for cloning Snapchat Stories, Instagram repeatedly defended its decision to launch Instagram Stories and continues to advocate on its behalf.
"We have a lot employees that believe passionately in ephemerality," says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, as cited by BuzzFeed News. "And I wanted to be sure that we were doing the right thing for the community - not just reacting to what was out there because it was cool or hip. Ephemerality had to be adopted in a way that worked. And a signal that it is working is that after just a few months, over 100 million people, daily, use Instagram Stories. So, forget about pride of authorship, internally or externally - it's working."
Instagram is six years old, whereas Snapchat is five. However, the fact that Instagram decided to copy a Snapchat feature that's substantially different from its core Instagram experience indicates that the social networking service needed to fill a gap to draw in more users.
Considering the general reluctance consumers typically have toward new features, Instagram Stories' 100 million daily active users milestone so soon after its launch suggests that it's on the right path.
With such a strong start, Instagram Stories will likely grow even further, potentially appealing to users who don't use Snapchat.
Meanwhile, Instagram's success doesn't necessarily spell trouble for Snapchat. It doesn't mean that users will flee its platform and shift to Instagram instead. In fact, Snapchat seems to be going strong itself, with plans of going public in March 2017 in a massive IPO at a valuation of $25 billion or higher.
Have you used Snapchat Stories and/or Instagram Stories? If you've tried both, which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.