Clash of the social media titans

Earlier in the year when Facebook bought Instagram, it sent out clear signals about its expansion in the social media space.

It also meant that the competition would escalate and the recent move of Instagram pulling out its photo-streaming services from Twitter proved just that.

Twitter’s announcement of adding eight new filters (which mimics Instagrams capabilities) which followed soon after, made it amply clear that the competition between the two social media network is set to soar.

What does this mean for marketers who often leverage these photo-sharing apps in their marketing campaigns? According to Keith Timimi, chairman of VML Qais, data shows that in most markets, Twitter is still ahead of Instagram but the usage of the latter is accelerating at a substantial speed.

“Right now, Twitter is still best for working with influencers, Instagram rules user generated content and mobile photos, Pinterest is the place for curating photos and driving eCommerce, while Tumblr is the home of reblogging and the highly under-rated animated gif,” Timimi added.

He cautioned that in the upcoming year marketers and agencies all need to watch the space closely even if no one is “expecting Twitter to take over the photo space, or Instagram to become the ruler of real-time news.”

Ernest Kim, planning director of XM Asia Pacific showed skepticism when it came to Twitter’s new photo filters saying the photo filters is not going win users over from Instagram.

However, Kim added that the rapid changes in the social media space pose a challenge to marketers who need to stay abreast of all these changes to better reach out to the online audience.

“The perpetual uncertainty can be scary for marketers accustomed to largely static traditional media,” Kim said adding that a great idea should not be beholden to the vicissitudes of a specific platform.

“When it gets down to the nitty-gritty of executing ideas in the digital space, success or failure can be contingent on the inner workings of platforms over which we have no control.”

According to Kim while the move towards “walled gardens is depressing,” it is an indication of the maturation of the social media industry.

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