In continuing its apparently lucrative tradition of borrowing key features from its rival, Snapchat, Instagram this week unveiled a cache of virtual stickers with which users can adorn their photos and videos. The brand new Stickers capability is Instagram's answer to Snapchat's popular geofilters, and they debut just months after the photo sharing platform launched a Stories feature nearly identical to the one Snapchat already provides. So, it's no secret that these two preeminent social media giants are vying for a similar tech savvy user base. So, it's Instagram Stickers vs. Snapchat Stickers — and, thanks to our social media-obsessed society and #teens, it's very likely that both will prevail.
But what are the key differences between the two? With its latest update, Instagram is stepping up its game by allowing users to save their videos from the past 24 hours to the camera roll, use of unlimited text boxes per image, and, the innovative option to record video handsfree, according to TechCrunch. But the Stickers addition is more basic than Snapchat's, with some of them showcasing the user's current location and the time or weather there. Where they diverge from Snapchat is quality: Snapchat's geofilters are artist-drawn and accessible only when the user is near the location they represent, while Instagram's are much more basic and applicable from anywhere.
Also, there's no option for users to generate their own stickers on Instagram, as there is on Snapchat, according to Mashable, although there are a few different styles to choose from. So, for now, the Instagram stickers with a little more personality are the holiday-themed ones, including a Christmas tree, dreidel, and gingerbread man, according to Time. Even this light dose of whimsicality allows Instagram to compete with Snapchat among the younger generations that both target. "Yes, it's not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but it's the sort of fun and irreverent thing that's made Snapchat more appealing to younger folks," Engadget's Devindra Hardawar wrote.
Snapchat first rolled out its non-emoji stickers for its ephemeral snaps in May, after it introduced the hugely popular selfie lenses (you know, the ones that had everyone you know puking rainbows online not too long ago). Instagram still lacks these, but judging from its well-established trend of adopting most of Snapchat's innovations, its very possible Instagram aficionados will be shooting lasers from their eyes, as The Daily Dot put it, in the very near future, as well.