Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories: Which Platform Is Better For Your Business

When it comes to social image sharing in 2017, there are only two leaders in the clubhouse: Snapchat and Instagram.

Both have been heralded by digital marketing circles as the answer to the anti-Facebook movement amongst Generation Z.

The more parents and grandparents move onto Facebook, the more digital marketers shift to reaching teens and 20-somethings on Snapchat and Instagram.

As digital marketers compete for younger eyeballs, Snapchat and Instagram have been locked in a vicious face-off for their marketing dollars.

Since the release of Instagram Stories in August 2016, the social giants have volleyed back and forth between releasing new features aimed at keeping both users and marketers on their respective platforms.

Within the last year, we’ve witnessed Snapchat update their popular editing and camera filters. Instagram’s response? “Face Filters” for Instagram Stories.

As Instagram’s features continue to grow similar to Snapchat’s offerings, it’s also getting harder for business owners to determine which platform deserves their time and hard-earned money.

Is Snapchat the right platform for your business? Is it time for you to make the move to Instagram Stories?

As the battle continues to rage on, we’ll walk you through a strategy to determine which platform best fits your business needs.

Snapchat Basics

Snapchat users can take photos and videos up to 10 seconds long and post them to their “My Story” or send them privately to friends. This content disappears from the “My Story” after 24 hours.

Additional Features:

  • Geofilters for a specific location or event
  • Snapchat Memories, which allows users to upload photos or vidoes from their phone
  • Time, temperature, speed, color and face filters
  • Drawing, sticker, and emoji/bitmoji features

Instagram Stories Basics

Like Snapchat, Instagram users can also take a photo or 10-second video and post it to their story, which, again, is only visible for 24 hours. Users can also send content privately to people they follow.

Additional Features:

  • Stickers that include location, temperature, and time
  • Ability to tag other users in your story using their username
  • Color and face filters
  • Drawing and emoji features
  • Boomerang (Mini videos that loop back and forth)

Now that we’ve covered the basics, our question still stands: which platform is best for your business?

Which Platform Has A Larger Reach?

Between the two platforms, there is definitely a larger potential reach on Instagram. Instagram now has more than 700 million monthly active users while Snapchat recorded only 301 monthly active users in 2016.

Instagram’s Demographics Include:

  • 1 million advertisers
  • 22.2% of millennials prefer Instagram
  • 200 Million Active Instagram Stories Users Per Day

Snapchat’s Demographics Include:

  • 15.8 % of millennials prefer Snapchat
  • 160 Million Active Snapchat Users Per Day

(Sources: Small Business BCSprout Social, andStatista)

Bigger may not always mean better, but more active users certainly means a higher likelihood of being able to reach your target audience.

Content Options

In addition to a wider audience, Instagram Stories offers more content options than Snapchat. If you use Snapchat, most of your content needs to be captured within the platform itself.

Snapchat’s new Memories option does allow you to upload photos and videos from your camera roll, but any content captured outside of Snapchat will get displayed with a thick white border while the image or video itself appears smaller. #Awkward

The same, however, is not the case for Instagram Stories. Businesses can upload both photos and videos from their camera roll without their followers knowing when the content was captured.

This, of course, allows marketers to plan their content and social strategies well in advance.

If you have an Instagram post and want to craft a story around it, feel free to plan your material in advance and shoot during a time that works for you.

Then, upload your content without the worry that users will know you aren’t shooting in real time.

Measuring Analytics

If you want to easily track your impressions, reach, and engagement, Instagram is the right platform for you.

When it comes to analytics, Snapchat offers the bare minimum while Instagram lets you track just about anything.

Snapchat’s Analytics Include:

  • How many times a story was viewed
  • Unique Views
  • Number of Screenshots

Instagram’s Analytics Include:

  • Followers
  • Website Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Demographics
  • Influencers

If your business relies on brand awareness through influencers, Instagram is, again, the way to go.

On Snapchat, there is no tangible way to rank influencers. On Instagram, however, we can easily see how many followers someone has and get a grasp of their influence via posts and interaction on their profile.

Here’s a question:

How can your brand awareness grow your chosen influencers can’t be found?

Snapchat’s limited search functionality makes is extremely hard for users to find and follow people that are not in their phone contacts. There is almost no chance for an influencer to be discovered organically.

Instagram, however, does a great job of suggesting users on their explore page. Based on likes and followers, the opportunities to stumble upon a new account are endless.


Another question:

How will your business grow if you can’t share a link to your website?

Snapchat only allows advertisers to share links in their stories. Any user on Instagram, however, can share a link or tag another profile within their story, which only makes growing your business much more organic.

Overall, Snapchat fills a niche market. The app may continue to grow, but is clearly much more focused on peer-to-peer communications than B2C .

Still looking for an answer to which platform is better for your business? Instagram is the answer!

With the linking, analytics, and content capabilities, Instagram Stories is the clear winner that will help take your business to the next level.

Need help getting your Instagram to reach its full potential? Contact one of our digital marketing experts at Fidelitas.

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