Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories: Which is Best?

 In Instagram, Snapchat, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

There’s a bit of debate amongst marketers over Snapchat and Instagram Stories. While both offer virtually the same content format (temporary visuals that disappear after 24 hours), there are some noteworthy differences between the two platforms. Let’s break them down.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories go Toe-to-Toe

Audience Building

Building an audience on Snapchat is a bit difficult, since you’ll only gain a follower if someone specifically searches for your business’ username or QR code. This makes it really tough, though not impossible, for smaller businesses that don’t have widespread the brand recognition to establish a solid follower base.

Instagram, on the other hand, is much easier. The ability to browse hashtags, locations and other accounts makes it simple to find users to follow, who, in turn, will follow you back if they find your profile appealing.  Also, once you’ve established a decent Instagram presence, your account will appear in the “Recommended for you” section for people who have similar interests to your business.

Winner: Instagram

instagram stories followers

Follower Engagement

It’s arguable (though not proven) that followers are more engaged with your Snapchat content, because they must actively seek out your profile in order to follow it. In other words, they have to put in some effort, something they wouldn’t do unless they were truly interested in what you were going to post.

Instagram Stories from each account you follow will also automatically play one after the other. So, someone who’s not really paying attention to their phone will likely miss a few Stories. Whereas on Snapchat, they have to manually tap your Story to play it.

That’s not to say people aren’t engaged with Stories on Instagram, just that on Snapchat, they’re more likely to pay attention.

Winner: Snapchat (by a little)

Editing Capabilities

Snapchat Stories have several editing options, such as:

  • Face filters
  • Location-based geotags
  • Holiday-specific add-ons
  • A pen tool to draw on your content
  • Emoji-like stickers
  • Basic color filters

Instagram has slightly more sophisticated versions of each tool Snapchat does, making it preferable for editing. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that most followers are fine with seeing real, raw content when they view Stories. So, although it’s nice to have, remember there’s no real need for high-capability editing.

Winner: Instagram

instagram stories snapchat stories editing

Additional Useful Information

Age of Userbase

Approximately 30 percent of internet users under the age of 25 are on Snapchat daily (although a slightly older crowd is beginning to catch on).

Instagram’s age skews just a little bit older, as more people over the age of 25 are more likely to use it than they are Snapchat.

Ultimately, they’re both platforms on which large millennial audiences can be reached.

Rate of Growth

Instagram, with 800 million users (500 million of which use the app daily), is rapidly outgrowing Snapchat, which, as of August, had 173 million daily users.

instagram stories snapchat stories userbase

Link Sharing Capability

Since July, you’ve been able to add links to both Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Just a heads up, there are several outdated articles on the internet that claim you cannot add them on Snapchat. You can.

Metrics

Finally, neither Snapchat nor Instagram offer in-depth analytics on their Stories as of yet. You can see how many people viewed them, but you’ll need to use a custom tracking link if you want information related to website visits or conversions.

So, overall, we believe that Instagram Stories are slightly better than Snapchat Stories. Snapchat is great for niche marketing, while Instagram is preferred for broader campaigns. The only way to figure out which is best for your business is to give both a try!
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