Snapchat invented the Stories format to share photos and videos that disappear. Now the company, along with Facebook, indicates that the future of social media is more like TikTok.
In comments to investors for its Thursday quarterly report, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said less time is being spent watching Friends’ Stories in the app, though the company had hoped Stories’ engagement would increase as pandemic lockdowns eased and people started to leave. their houses more. Instead, Snapchat users are flocking to watch videos on Spotlight, Snapchat’s TikTok rival for watching viral videos posted by random creators, and the Discover section for premium shows.
“This is a continuation of the trend we observed during the pandemic, and the posting and viewing of friend stories per daily active user has not returned to pre-pandemic levels,” Spiegel said in his comments to investors. “While we are hopeful that over time our community will revert to the storytelling behaviors of friends we observed prior to the pandemic, we are focused on innovating our content offerings to better serve our community today.”
While Snap hasn’t detailed exactly what the changes to the content section will look like yet, it’s easy to imagine making the tab more like TikTok by opening videos from Spotlight creators in full screen, with the ability to dig deeper into longer Discover diving shows. Spiegel emphasized that some of Spotlight’s creators already have their own recurring shows in the app, supporting “our vision of Spotlight as a platform where audiences can discover new creators, topics, and communities and then interact with them more deeply on Discover.” ‘
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook parent company Meta, also identified TikTok as a formidable threat this week. “People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very fast,” he said during Meta’s fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday. Unlike Snap, which is still expanding its user base and showing better-than-expected revenue growth, Meta disappointed investors this week with its earnings report, wiping out more than $200 billion of its market value in one day — the record. beat that it had previously set in 2018.
So while Snap and Meta’s business achievements are getting publicized, it’s worth noting that they both see TikTok as competition. Captivating new formats, be it Stories or the TikTok video feed, have the potential to quickly shift the user’s attention. Snap invented a format that is now ubiquitous, but now it and Meta are catching up.