It seems like one of Snapchat’s most high-profile users might be jumping the proverbial Jet Ski. Thursday, DJ Khaled added to his Snapchat story as usual, but this time it was to tell users to follow him on Instagram for a livestream.
Since he began using Snapchat in 2015, the producer has become synonymous with the platform. All of his thoughts, his meals, his workouts, the making of his Apple Ciroc, his misadventures on the ocean, his child’s birth, were documented via Snapchat story. As Snapchat’s user base grew through the beginning of 2016, so did Khaled’s profile.
While Khaled’s rise continued through the back half of the year, Snapchat’s position has begun to falter largely thanks to Instagram Stories (which, yes, are a blatant Snapchat copycat). According to a recent TechCrunch report, dozens of analytics providers, social media celebrities, and talent managers have reported a decline in Snapchat stories usage.
Instagram Stories has been popular with some celebrities who were late to build an audience on Snapchat. But it also coincides with Snapchat’s decision to remove its auto-advance feature, which forced — ahem, allowed — its users to watch every story in their feed in a row. The removal of this feature arguably made the app a bit more cumbersome to use.
But all those things are just vague numbers and reports. DJ Khaled leaving, though? The platform’s foremost icon? Now it feels real. And using Snapchat to broadcast the switch is like throwing salt in the wound.
In any case, this is bad news for Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, which filed its IPO last week. If Instagram Stories is eating away at Snapchat’s views, it’s also reducing its value to ad buyers and potential shareholders.
The one bright spot for Snap Inc. comes in a recent report from Select All, which detailed a small backlash against Instagram among younger users for copying one of Snapchat’s primary features. Multiple teens reportedly told the outlet that they didn’t see any feature that Instagram could introduce that would make them want to use it over Snapchat.
“Instagram basically copied Snapchat,” said Sam, a high schooler from North Carolina quoted in the article. “It’s kinda … stupid.”
Still, if the company continues to lose money and if celebrities like Khaled start taking their content to other platforms, Snapchat might find itself in a very tough spot. Perhaps it’s time for some cloth talk.