On Nov. 15 reports emerged that Snap, the parent of Snapchat, had filed for an initial public offering that could value the company at as much as $25 billion. Days later, Instagram unveiled a new feature for disappearing photos and videos that puts it squarely in competition with Snapchat.
So goes the escalating battle between the two apps as they each seek to own the time and attention of internet-connected, mobile-phone-obsessed young people. Six-year-old Instagram, which sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, has seen an astounding few years of growth, reporting in June that it has 500 million monthly users and 300 million daily users. Snapchat, which was released in 2011, meanwhile has captured buzz — and 150 million daily users — through its focus on ephemerality.
But both companies appear acutely aware of the competition. In July, Snapchat introduced a new feature for saving and reposting old photos, something that’s always been easy on Instagram. One month later, Instagram responded with its take on Snapchat’s Stories format.