Hearst’s Kate Lewis can easily rattle off the company’s Instagram stats. Half the company’s brands have more than 1 million followers. Harper’s Bazaar has 3 million. But when it comes to their organic Snapchat accounts, Lewis, Hearst’s svp and editorial director of digital media, hesitates. “This is how little we use Snapchat — I don’t know the number of followers of [the accounts].”
Nothing is forever in the world of platforms. Two years ago, publishers that didn’t have a coveted slot in the Snapchat Discover section were scrambling to use individual accounts on Snapchat to connect with millennials in a raw, personal way, sometimes posting as often as several times a day there.
Today, parent company Snap is facing questions about user growth and retention, with all the moves Facebook’s Instagram is making to copy Snapchat’s features, as its declining stock price shows. Instagram’s moves are paying off with publishers, many of whom have shifted their enthusiasm to Instagram.