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Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat: Work smarter, not harder

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by Kendall Baggerly

Instagram’s fairly recent Stories update lets users do exactly (to an extent) what they’ve been doing on Snapchat: post in-real-time photos and videos with others that last only 24 hours. As a business owner, social media manager, or curious bystander, figuring out where to best invest your time while achieving the greatest ROI can be difficult. Understanding the properties of these platforms can give you better insight into determining where to invest your time, so we’ll give you a quick list of the pros and cons of each.
Instagram Stories


– The platform has around 500 million users.
– Easily discoverable. Anyone who visits your Instagram page (considering that the account is public) can view your stories, regardless of whether or not they’re following you. If they’re already following your page, the stories will pop up at the top of their news feed. Bonus: Instagram Stories are now embedded in the Discover/Explore section, so even people not already following you or your brand have the opportunity to come across your stories.
– Users can share photos taken on their phone within the last 24 hours. So say, for example, that you grab a good pic of your company’s Monday morning meeting. You can then easily add it to Instagram Stories that day from your phone’s camera roll.
– There’s less “personalization” on Instagram Stories. While users can draw or write text on their photos or videos, they cannot add geofilters or face-recognition lenses like they can on Snapchat.
– Users can only share photos taken on their phone from the last 24 hours. While this is also listed as a pro, take note that Snapchat allows users to add photos from their entire phone’s camera roll, providing more options for content.
– Like Snapchat, the content is temporary, making it difficult to measure conversion rates or overall success.
Snapchat Stories

– Geofilters and ever-changing selfie lenses allow for greater customization and keep the platform interesting and unique. Instagram Stories do not currently have this feature.
– You can send Snapchats to single users. This is more of a personal perk since companies are not likely to pursue this feature, but it is still a good note to keep in mind in terms of user interaction.
– Snapchat is moving fast in response to Instagram Stories with new updates that mimic the competition and even take their technology one step further, which can be promising for the platform’s longevity.
– Snapchat only has around 100 million users (about ⅕ of Instagram).
– The entire platform is based on temporary content. Since Snapchats are only live for 24 hours, measuring their success or creating a long-lasting library of content for users to see is difficult.
Hopefully these pros and cons provide you with enough information to make the right decision for your social media strategy. Our expert advice: take advantage of the followers you have on Instagram and use Instagram Stories if you’re already on the channel. Instead of trying to get an already captive audience onto another channel, utilize your follower count by staying on the same platform. Your Instagram Stories can relate to your permanent posts and support your strategy to ensure optimal engagement.
Which platform do you like the most? Let us know in the comments below or send us an email — we’d love to chat!




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