Instagram; The One-Upper Of Social Platforms


We have all experienced the sheer annoyance of the one-upper. You show up to work vulnerable, disheveled and exhausted; having been up all night with a screaming baby. The one-upper coworker quickly reminds you, “My twins had colic with acid reflux, and both screamed and puked for two years straight.” Maybe you were thrilled to tell your one-upper friend your house sold quickly. They congratulate you by saying, “Our house sold in two days for double market value with a 2.35% interest rate on our new 5,000 square foot house. Did I mention it has a huge lot and a pool?” The one-upper will always top your good news with greater news. It’s maddening, yet slightly impressive.

Typically, one-uppers are afraid of feeling inferior and need to constantly perform power plays in order to feel superior. In business it’s just part of staying relevant and competitive. Imagine a Silicon Valley powerhouse with entire departments dedicated to developing their next one-upping app feature in response to their competitor. Actually, it’s not something you have to work hard to imagine, the one-upper attitude basically defines Silicon Valley. Is it a bad thing or good thing? Is it stifling competition or maintaining all the advancements in one app? Either way it can benefit the consumer.

A perfect example is Instagram, the ultimate power player constantly one-upping their fellow social media platform competitors. Let’s start from the top. Instagram pulled a one-up on Snapchat by creating the ever-popular Instagram Stories. According to a recent earnings report from Snap(SNAP), Instagram Stories was twice as popular as Snapchat. Chalk that one up as a success. Next TikTok went viral and everyone was suddenly filming themselves doing ridiculous, choreographed dances. So, Instagram launched a TikTok rival, Instagram Reels, an attempt to one-up TikTok with more audio effects and creative tools. Pretty sure that didn’t fall flat. Now here we are, one year later, and Instagram is playing copycat once again with Instagram Live Rooms. Their latest one-upping feature is a response to the swanky new invite-only Clubhouse app.

So what is Instagram Live Rooms? How does it compete with Clubhouse and how can your brand leverage this new feature?

  1. Live Rooms allows creators to go live with up to 3 guests. Previously you could only go live with one guest. The ability to add more guests to a livestream can help a brand grow their and follower base exponentially and fast! Once live, all the guests’ followers are notified about the Live Room, in addition to the creators’ followers. Brands can leverage this feature with paid and unpaid influencer campaigns, brand partnerships, engaging Q&A panels, and talk-shows. The possibilities are endless!
  2. Instagram Live Rooms requires all four participants to be on-camera; a stark contrast from the coveted new Clubhouse app, which is audio only. Removing the camera element allows more users to jump into actual conversations instead of just communicating through messaging – something Instagram the one-upper has not quite figured out yet. Being able to jump into a conversation when you wake up in your pajamas or while making dinner (also in your pajamas) is effortless and genius, hence why Clubhouse is thriving. If you want to learn more about clubhouse check out our blog, “We’re In The Club! where we detail the latest from the app. 
  3. In their recent announcement Instagram revealed, With Live Rooms, viewers can buy badges for the hosts and use other interactive features like Shopping and Live Fundraisers. We’re also exploring more interactive tools such as offering moderator controls and audio features that will be available in the coming months.” These new capabilities can help brands sell and showcase products live and even offer a platform for fundraising.


Rumor has it Facebook is building a Clubhouse competing feature as well. You can be guaranteed Instagram is already scheming their next one-upper twist. Oh and don’t ever underestimate Twitter, they’re making a Clubhouse alternative too, it’s called Spaces and you can read more about it here. No matter what platform you decide to be on, just remember one thing, no one likes a one-upper…unless you’re on TikTok.