Jan 12, 2017

It's on: Snapchat v Instagram


Yesterday, Instagram announced that like Snapchat, it's Stories feature has 150 million daily users. Now, both companies are rolling out new features to win over advertisers.

Instagram Stories:

  1. Stories insights: Within the next few weeks, users that convert their accounts to business profiles will have access to an "Insights" feature, which will disclose reach, impressions, replies and exits for every story.
  2. Full-screen ads: These will come in the form of five-second photos and 15-second videos. The photos can't be clicked and users will have the option to swipe to dismiss the ads, similar to Snap Ads. Instagram says it will test the ads with 30+ advertisers over the next few weeks, before rolling out the program to all brands globally.


  1. Deep-linking: This is the first time Snapchat will allow publishers to link outside of their framework to advertisers' apps. It will be accessible via Snapchat's webview ad unit, which lets users swipe up to access mobile pages without leaving the app. After swiping into a mobile page, users can tap the page to link them directly to the advertiser's app.
  2. Auto-fill: This feature that will include the option to auto-fill personal information forms with one tap using Snapchat user data, like name, email address, and phone number. To protect user privacy, users will be asked if they would like to use the auto-fill option each time, Snap Inc. told Axios. Instagram offers users the ability to sign into their Facebook account, which auto-fills similar information.

What's in it for Instagram? It's time the platform monetized its' story audience, which already heavily engages with brands. According to Instagram, 70% of their users already follow a business and businesses produce a third of the platform's most-viewed stories.

What's in it for Snapchat? New features will help them attract commerce-driven advertising campaigns. Snapchat users are four times less likely to use the app for e-commerce than Instagram.

Smart take: TechCrunch notes that Instagram could have held off on introducing ads on its stories features until after Snap's supposed IPO later this year. They clearly see the advertising revenue potential in Instagram Stories as being worth more than an expected user-drop off once ads are introduced.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,426,096 — Total deaths: 81,865 — Total recoveries: 300,054Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 396,223 — Total deaths: 12,722 — Total recoveries: 21,763Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  5. World latest: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Wisconsin primary in photos: Thousands gathered to cast ballots in-person during the height of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.
  7. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Airline industry braces for a forever-changed world

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Why it matters: People may want to minimize travel for the foreseeable future. Investors, analysts and industry watchers are trying to determine how much airlines will need to spend — and how much more in lost revenue they'll see — while they adapt to the new reality.

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Why it matters: Trump insisted that despite not seeing the memos, he did "more or less" what Navarro suggested by banning non-U.S. citizens from traveling from China effective Feb. 2.