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Instagram Stories have all but replaced Snapchat for me

Almost 20 percent of Instagram users say they watch ‘Stories’ every day.

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit - Day 1
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom with Instagram Stories user Lena Dunham
Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

How is Instagram’s Snapchat Stories clone doing?

Some 18 percent of U.S. Instagram users surveyed by RBC said they watch Stories daily, and 53 percent watch them at least monthly, according to a research report published this week by the investment bank.

That’s compared with 52 percent of Instagram users who look at their main feed of photos and videos daily, according to the report.

So, not bad?

“We will monitor this over time, but believe this adoption appears relatively strong — though this is just a gut feeling,” RBC’s analysts, led by Mark Mahaney, wrote.

I’ve personally become a fond daily (sometimes hourly!) Instagram Stories viewer, mostly because I find my Instagram network — friends and co-workers, but also chefs, coffee shops, pro photographers, fashion models, apparel brands, etc. — much more interesting than my Snapchat network. Over the past 24 hours, around 90 of the roughly 900 accounts I follow have posted an Instagram Story, including chef-types Anthony Bourdain and David Chang, actress/writer Lena Dunham, the Maison Kitsuné fashion brand, Paris’s Ten Belles café, and a bunch of friends.

I’ve also found myself posting to Instagram — mostly Stories, but also regular photos and videos — more often than before Stories launched.

And I’ve noticed myself using Snapchat far less since Instagram Stories launched, after using Snapchat a bunch earlier this year.

But that’s just me.

Snapchat, meanwhile, seems to be doing just fine. Its app-store download ranks are still very strong (Instagram’s are, too). And RBC’s survey found Snapchat’s users to be highly engaged and the most satisfied of the major social networks.

(No surprise, but teens love Snapchat the most. One RBC survey question asked respondents which social media network they’d choose if they were trapped on a desert island and had to pick only one. Almost all age groups picked Facebook by a wide margin — as high as 84 percent for the over-70 crowd. But 28 percent of teens age 13 to 18 picked Snapchat, the top network in that age group, with Facebook and Instagram trailing.)

Four months after Instagram’s Stories launched, it seems the format will be able to coexist on both networks, which both continue to grow.

And anyway, most Snapchat users — 69 percent — said that chat and photo messaging were the app’s most important features; only 26 percent said Stories, and just 4 percent said Discover, Snapchat’s entertainment section, was their top feature.

Previously: Instagram’s Snapchat is brilliant — and might even be better

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