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Here's how Snap can win against copycats, former MTV executive says

Instagram may be mimicking Snapchat's every move, but that doesn't mean that parent company Snap should worry, a media executive told CNBC.

"I don't know that they need to necessarily be insulated," Christina Norman, former CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and former MTV executive, told "Squawk Alley" on Wednesday. "You don't just use one thing. You use a lot of different things. I think they are going to find whatever their place is with their consumers."

Shares of Snapchat's parent have fluctuated widely since hitting the public market last week. They were last up about 2.5 percent on Wednesday, after falling 9.8 percent on Tuesday.

It is still early days for the company, as advertisers try to figure out how they can use Snapchat to reach their audience, Norman said. But what makes Snap great is its iterative format, which allows for trial-and-error experimentation, Norman said.

"They're definitely into content, but they're also into really super-serving their audience," said Norman, who is now CEO of media agency Media Storm. "If you want to reach millennials, you've got to be on Snap. And that's what we've seen from a lot of our clients."

While some have likened Snap to a fresh twist on MTV, Norman said she wasn't sure if there was truth in that comparison.

"I think Snap has the benefit of seeing what everyone else has done before them, and they're smart," Norman said. "So they've seen what Twitter has done, they've seen what MTV has done. They've seen what content works, what kind of devices and hardware they need to invest in. I'm excited about their future as well."

Known for its disappearing photo messages and augmented reality "lenses," Snap has marketed itself as a camera company. That could be a way for the brand to define itself in the media landscape, said Norman.

"You invite everyone in that way. I think they've been able to invite advertisers in — to invite users in— in a very tactile way, and a very immediate way," Norman said. "A way that immediately allows [Snap] to prove their worth, and their value in someone's life long term."