Social Media

Snapchat vs Instagram Stories: Which One Is Best For You?

Back in October 2013, Snapchat made a major update to their platform with the addition of Stories.

Due to the success of Snapchat, Facebook made the move to buy the platform. But in the end, the bid was worth $3 billion Lower his voice By Snapchat Founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel.

In an effort to compete, Facebook launched its own version of Stories via Instagram in August 2016.

The Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories debate is officially off to the races.

Brands and creators have found themselves wondering which platform they should post on – Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories, or both?

Until now, many still have the same question.

What are Snapchat and Instagram Stories?

In general, the premise of Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories is the same.

Stories on each platform consist of photos and videos that expire after 24 hours.

The disappearance of content creates this fear of missing out (FOMO) and sense of urgency, which causes people to check back more often for new content.

When it first launched, Instagram Stories was bare bones.

It took a while before they had a large library of filters, stickers, and GIFs that actually rivaled Snapchat.

Fast forward to 2021, and their features are mostly the same because whenever one platform adds something new, the other seems to follow suit.

How to choose the right platform for you

So, how do you decide which one to use when they are so similar? Well, there are two basic questions you need to ask yourself before committing to one or the other.

Here’s what you need to find out.

1. Where does your audience spend their time?

The key to success on social media is to be and create content where your audience hangs out.

Otherwise, you will be creating content for all the wrong people.

And what’s the point of that?

Find out if your audience is more likely to use Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories.

Including the demographics of each platform will help you with this. Another option is to simply ask them.

Send out a survey to get to know your audience better and ask which social media platforms they use the most.

Post a poll on LinkedIn or Twitter.

This will tell you where you want to be!

2. Which platform will you play to my strengths?

One thing that many people don’t think about when choosing which social media platforms will be part of their strategy is how they can exploit their strengths.

Some platforms prefer certain types of content and styles over others.

Since Snapchat and Instagram Stories are so similar, look at the features each platform offers to decide which one will work best for you.

Enjoy, play and experiment.

If one obviously plays more to your strengths, go for it.

Now, let’s talk about each individual platform and some of the benefits that each one has to offer.

Snapchat stories status

Snapchat paved the way for platforms that now offer stories that expire in 24 hours.

After Snapchat led the way, Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter all created their own versions of this in an effort to compete with the social networking giant.

Although Snapchat is still doing quite well according to the data, it seems to falter a bit when compared to its competitors.

As of late 2020, Snapchat owned 530 million monthly active users Worldwide as of April 2021 with over 210 million ‘snaps’ created on the platform per day.

Snapchat users are 58% female and 40% male. The oldest age group on the platform is 13 – 34 years old 75% of the Snapchat community.

Although it seems not to be talked about much, Snapchat has seen a lot of growth over the course of 2020.

Screenshots taken by the author

Before you start recording new content with Snapchat, you can add Lenses (or Filters).

You can also set a timer to make shooting easier or add music ahead of time to sync your content to the chosen song.

On Instagram, you cannot add music until the editing stage. Snapchat gives you access to a variety of popular songs and access to your own custom sounds.

To brighten and add to your stories, there are plenty of fun stickers to choose from.

Here are some of the benefits of Snapchat Stories:

It will help you connect with your younger audience.

If you’re trying to reach those in the smaller range of your target demographic, chances are they’re on Snapchat.

By being active there, you have plenty of opportunities to show the human and fun side of your brand and make new connections.

There is less competition.

Many brands seem to have moved away from Snapchat in favor of Instagram Stories, but that doesn’t mean you should give it up either.

This simply means that you have less competition and can use the app to stand out from the crowd in your field.

Geofilters help you reach local audiences.

Snapchat allows users to create custom geofilters that can be placed as decorations on top of story posts.

It’s a great way to draw attention to local businesses and events in the area.

Plus, people can find you on Snap Map and see your Stories, again which helps increase your viewership.

The truth is that Snapchat is still thriving.

And if your competitors are not active on the platform, this is your chance to join and start connecting with your target audience.

Sharing fun and creative content will help you attract people and build the all-important knowledge, like and trust factor.

Instagram stories status

more One billion people use Instagram each month, making it the sixth most popular network after Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Instagram reaches 140 million users in the US.

And in 2020, users spent an average of 30 minutes a day using Instagram.

In terms of demographics, females make up 57% of Instagram users, while males make up 43%. The largest age group that actively uses Instagram are those between the ages of 25 and 34.

But what about stories? Well, 500 million people use Instagram stories every single day, with stories from brands seeing an 86% completion rate.

These stats make it an Instagram feature you’ll want to take advantage of since the average user views brand stories and even makes purchases from there.

Instagram stories.Screenshots taken by the author

In the screenshots above, you can see some of the features Instagram Stories offers when creating content.

Before you start shooting, you can choose different modes like Boomerang, Layout, Hands-Free, and Photo Booth.

You can also use pre-made templates (found under the Create option) like the Sweepstakes Challenge to have a little fun with your followers.

When editing, you can add stickers, timestamp, temperature, and even GIFs.

Here are some highlights of Instagram stories:

They are part of a larger platform.

On Instagram, there are many ways you can create lasting content. You can post photos or videos to your feed and upload videos to IGTV or Reels.

Instagram Stories can complement everything else you share without all your hard work disappearing in 24 hours.

Stories feed promotes recent posts.

You may have noticed that Instagram puts the stories of people you watch the most at the top of the list.

However, you also see them based on their timing, as in how recent the posts are. You can create more offers when you’re front and center.

Stories are great for immediate reactions.

Knowing your audience can shape your content strategy not only on social media, but also on your blog, YouTube, and podcast.

Adding a survey, quiz, question box, or slider can help you get feedback.

Don’t forget to check your analytics as well to learn more about your followers. This is something Snapchat lacks.

In general, most brands already have a built-in audience on Instagram. This means that they don’t need to start over by building an audience from scratch on another platform.

If you’re already using it as part of your strategy, it’s helpful to share a few stories throughout the day.

Which one deserves your attention?

The battle of Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories really comes down to where your audience spends the most time.

Sharing content on social media won’t do you much good if you don’t reach the audience you want.

So where do they really spend their time? Where are they most likely to view and interact with your content?

If you see the benefit of using both platforms, the good news is that you can easily post cross-platform content.

For example, you can shoot content in Snapchat (making use of their best video editing options), save it to your camera roll, and then upload it to Instagram.

This way, you can be on Snapchat and Instagram Stories without having to do twice as much work.

Try both story features and see how they work for you!

More resources:

  • Snapchat Trends shows the most popular keywords
  • Instagram to show you more content from people you don’t follow
  • Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide

Featured image: Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock

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