Snapchat is the enemy. At least that’s how it feels to a lot of the parents I know. It’s something about the disappearing messages or the way it lends itself to “streaks” (where users send snaps back and forth without interruption for as long as they can keep it up). Nevermind that there may actually be something decent, even authentic, about the way kids are encouraged to send messages they know will be free from public scrutiny and will never EVER be seen by a college admissions office.
When you’re the parent of a teen, Snapchat can be scary.
Instagram is the safer option (isn't it?)
Until now, Instagram has been the sparkling water to Snapchat’s Mountain Dew—mostly clear, with a little bit of virtuous sparkle. It’s just water! Nothing to worry about there! Instagram encourages more thoughtful posting. More artistic images. More encouraging comments. All the parents I know seem relatively unconcerned about Instagram.
But that may be about to change. When the latest update of the popular photo-sharing app was released last week it included a host of new features. Chief among these is Instagram Stories, which is unabashedly a rip-off of the identically named Snapchat Stories (a fact that Instagram’s CEO has actually owned up to, in a surprisingly candid moment.)
Every platform reinvents what’s been done before.