Snap CEO Evan Spiegel recently said that Instagram made users feel “terrible” because they had to “compete for popularity.”
Spiegel has yet to provide any proof to back up this claim, and current research suggests he is wrong.
Snapchat does, however, seem to have a slightly better emotional impact on users than Instagram, according to multiple surveys.
Assessing the impact of social-media apps on emotional well-being is complicated by factors like “active” versus “passive” use, and timeframe.
It’s no secret there’s bad blood between Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram.
Snap insiders and fans — including Miranda Kerr, the Australian supermodel and entrepreneur who is married to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel — have repeatedly blasted Facebook and Instagram for copying Snapchat, especially its stories format.
But beyond the copying complaints, which Instagram has not denied, there’s another form of criticism that has recently bubbled up: the contention that Instagram is bad for you, while Snapchat is not.
Spiegel expressed this view on stage at The New York Times’ DealBook conference in early November: “What people are experiencing on Instagram is, they don’t feel good about themselves. It feels terrible, they have to compete for popularity.”
The basic theory is easy to understand: Instagram has “likes” and public follower counts, whereas Snapchat does not, and if people are competing for likes on Instagram, they will end up feeling “terrible.”
But the problem with that easy narrative is the evidence doesn’t back it up.
After speaking with a professor in the field, consulting the current academic research, running a custom consumer survey, and corresponding with a Snap representative, I was still left without a single data set supporting Spiegel’s claim that Instagram was “terrible” and Snapchat was not.
The consensus picture that emerged was that, in many circumstances, both Snapchat and Instagram had a positive emotional influence on their users, with Snapchat having a slight edge.
But Spiegel’s attack on Instagram’s emotional impact is hyperbolic and unsupported.
Even research commissioned by Snap itself, published on Tuesday, found that 8 of the 9 “top attribute index scores” for how users felt when using Instagram were positive. Users of both Snapchat and Instagram felt “playful,” “attractive,” “creative,” “adventurous,” and “flirtatious” when they were using the apps. Instagram’s top attribute was “inspired” and the lone mark against it was that users felt “self-conscious.”
Snapchat got a perfect 9 out of 9 positive attributes (no surprise there), while Twitter and Facebook’s attributes skewed negative.
Here is the full chart from Snapchat and Murphy Research:
Yes, Snapchat seems to beat Instagram in this study. But if even research being paid for by your competitor — a competitor who is trashing you in the press — gives you 89% positive attributes, that’s pretty good.
And it’s not the only evidence to suggest that Spiegel is wrong in his assessment of Snapchat and Instagram’s emotional effects.
How does using Snapchat or Instagram impact you emotionally?
When I heard Spiegel’s quote about Instagram in November, I thought it would be worthwhile to try and answer a simple question: How did Snapchat and Instagram affect …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Tech