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The Popularity of Instagram Stories Presents a Dire Challenge for Snapchat

Instagram's new "stickers" to celebrate the one year anniversary of Instagram Stories. Courtesy: Instagram

It only took a year, but Instagram Stories has never been more of a problem for Snapchat than it is now as the Facebook subsidiary reveals new user stats for the first time.

The feature—in which users can share “moments” from the day through video and photos before they disappear 24 hours later—is proving to be a boon for the the app’s engagement numbers overall with younger users and business alike.

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According to Instagram on Wednesday, users under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, on average. Those age 25 and older spend more than 24 minutes a day.

As for brands, more than 50% of businesses on Instagram produced an Instagram Story in the last month, while one in five organic stories from businesses generated a direct message from a follower. (Social worker bees seem to be fond of the app as well as Instagram noted “#WORK” was the second most popular hashtag, right between “#GOODMORNING” and “#GOODNIGHT.”)

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By comparison, Snap snap said in its first earnings report ever in May that its users spent an average of 30 minutes per day on the ephemeral messaging app in the first quarter. Snap also noted at the time that it sees more than 3 billion “snaps” uploaded on a daily basis.

Instagram also reiterated on Wednesday that the app overall (thus, not just Stories) has more than 250 million daily active users (a figure revealed in June), but didn’t provide a more specific figure than that yet. As of May, Snap reported it had 166 million users for its overall app.

Instagram and its parent company Facebook alike have been criticized for more than a year for repeatedly copying new features on Snapchat across both of the social networks. However, in look, feel, and apparently engagement, arguably nothing has presented such an immediate (and growing) challenge for the future of Snapchat as Instagram Stories.

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