Why Instagram is Eclipsing Twitter.

Way back in 2008, I predicted that Twitter was about to become the next big thing.  It was early in its days.  So early, in fact, that my teen cast of 13 didn’t even know what it was, so I had to explain it to them.  (Imagine, a dude in his mid-30s knowing more about a social media platform than a 14-year-old.)

What I didn’t predict was that ten years later, another social network would take over Twitter’s spot as the 2nd largest. That new network, of course, was Instagram (which was purchased by the #1 social media platform, Facebook, for a billion bucks).

How did Instagram leapfrog over the 140 character competition?

Three reasons:

FIRST, the obvious . . . Instagram is all about photos and videos.

Humans are visual creatures. We love pictures.  And videos are just moving pictures.  Twitter didn’t have a chance with just text.  In fact, the best writers out there (from playwrights to advertising copy writers) are instructed to write in a way that conjures up pictures in the reader’s minds. Why write what you’re thinking when you can just post it?  (This is the same reason why people watch more TV than they read books.)

SECOND, it’s easier to produce.

Sure, you may add a filter or add some contrast, but an Instagram photo or video can be up and out a lot faster than a tweet.  And even if you choose to add a hashtag or comment, the results are so much more powerful, the ROI on your time is much higher.

THIRD, and the #1 reason why they are trouncing Twitter . . . “stories.”

A year ago they introduced the ability for users to tell “stories.”  And frankly, they probably got a million more users just from the name itself.

Focus group after focus group that I’ve participated in has taught me that the #1 thing that audiences want . . . is a story.  And now you can tell one (and consume one) on Instagram.

That’s hard to do on Twitter.  And Facebook, well you could have done it on Facebook, but they just got beat to the punch (luckily they own the puncher).

By telling people that “stories” were available on Instagram, it became much more than just a place where you share shots of sunsets. It became . . . well . . . just like the theater.

Huh.  I wonder if that’s why Instagram has now added a “live” feature as well.

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I resisted for awhile, but I’ve now embraced Instagram.  Follow me.  I’m only posting when I’ve seen something that I’ve learned from, and I believe you could too.  Follow my Insta story here.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.