Instagram Stories Just Passed 500 Million Daily Users

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Instagram Stories, the photo-sharing app’s feature allowing users to post pictures and videos for only 24 hours, has hit 500 million daily active users, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg shared the update while taking a victory lap on Facebook’s Q4 earnings call, after the mothership posted strong revenue and user growth to close 2018. It was the first time Instagram had updated its Stories count since last June, when it had 400 million DAUs. The Facebook-owned app now has more than double the amount of Stories users as its chief competitor, Snapchat, which had 186 million daily users when it last reported earnings in October.

The 500 million figure comes just before Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, will report its earnings next Monday. And to make things worse for Snap, which has been plagued by lagging user growth in recent quarters, Instagram essentially copied Snapchat’s Stories feature when it rolled out its own version of Stories in 2016.

Also Read: Facebook’s Stock Surges 7 Percent on Huge Q4 Sales, Massive User Growth

Zuckerberg, talking about Stories last October, said it’s the “future” of Facebook’s family of apps. “People want to share in ways that don’t stick around permanently and I want to make sure we fully embrace this.” Facebook rolled out its own Stories feature in 2017, and WhatsApp’s Status — its own version of the feature — has more than 450 million daily users.

Facebook, in its letter to shareholders on Wednesday, said the company estimated 2 billion people use at least one of  its apps — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger — each day on average.

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Facebook Hits 1 Billion Daily Stories Users, Mark Zuckerberg Warns Revenue Growth Could Slow

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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced that more than 1 billion users are using its Stories feature — allowing users to thread together pictures and video with a 24-hour shelf life — each day across its family of apps, but that the compan…

Snapchat Rolls out Redesigned Redesign

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You might have noticed some changes — albeit it, familiar ones — when you opened Snapchat on Friday morning.

Snapchat has started rolling out a redesign to its prior heavily criticized redesign, with the popular app more closely resembling the classic look millions of users fell in love with in the first place.

Many Apple iOS users started seeing the update late on Thursday, with a Snap Inc. rep confirming messages from friends will now show up in chronological order once again. Stories from friends are also being bumped back to the right side of the app. In addition, Snapchat is adding a Subscriptions tab for users to follow content from creators and publishers. The app will still open to the camera.

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Here’s a look at the redesigned redesign:

 

The move comes only months after Snap’s big update, moving all Stories and messages from friends to the left side of the app, while leaving the right side for content from social stars and publishers. Many loyal Snapchatters weren’t thrilled with the redesign, with 1.2 million users signing a petition in February for the app to revert back to its classic design. Publishers were also frustrated with the redesign, with one outlet telling Vanity Fair the changes made a  “cataclysmic” dent on its engagement. Even Kylie Jenner got in on the complaining, saying the redesign was “so sad.”

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At first, Snap acknowledged the update was “uncomfortable for many,” but held off on immediately walking back some of its changes. But the company is now listening, after a rough Q1 saw uninspiring user and revenue growth.

“We learned that combining watching Stories and communicating with friends into the same place made it harder to optimize for both competing behaviors,” CEO Evan Spiegel said earlier this month following the company’s Q1 financial report.

Snap did not have a timetable on when Android users can expect to see the changes.

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New Snapchat Scripted Original Content ‘Imminent,’ Content VP Says

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Snapchat’s second attempt at scripted original content is coming sooner rather than later, Snap Inc. VP of Content Nick Bell said during a panel at the Television Critics Association conference on Monday.

“It’s imminent… our preference is to get it right,” said Bell, before pointing to a recently-announced partnership with the Duplass brothers to bring new shows to the app.

Last summer, Bell hinted scripted originals would hit the app by the end of 2017. Missing that mark, according to Bell, was in part due to the app’s highly-publicized redesign getting “in the way a little bit.”

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Snapchat already has 40 shows airing on its Discover channel, with an emphasis on reality and unscripted shows; the app has featured several dating shows, including one from rapper Action Bronson, as well as airing content from NBC News and ESPN’s SportsCenter twice a day.

Discover continues to move towards shows as it shifts away from its “digital magazine” roots — largely because its publisher content have failed to gain major traction. Only 21 percent of Snapchat users check out Discovery’s publisher content on a daily basis, according to internal metrics shared by The Daily Beast last week.

In terms of partners or stars, Bell and Sean Mills, head of original content at Snap, had little to offer on Monday. The app’s next attempt at scripted originals will be its first since the poorly-received “Literally Can’t Even” debuted back in 2015. (That show centered on Sasha Spielberg — daughter of Steven Spielberg — as she tried to get over a breakup without the assistance of alcohol.)

News shows, so far, have been a successful genre for the app, according to Bell. The exec added 3.5 billion Snaps are created each day, and that Snap had “just started to embrace the creator community” — something more in-line with its chief competitor, Instagram. Bell said they’ll look to “double down” on a “small base” of creators moving forward.

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