instagram vs. snapchat: whose story wins?

If you keep up with the social media world, you know that Instagram just released a new feature and it is huge.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, here is a recap of what’s happening. Instagram just released Instagram Stories (yes, when stealing the idea from Snapchat, they didn’t even bother to change the name).  Instagram stories are a feed where users can upload photos and videos that last 24 hours. In addition to posting the temporary photos, you can also draw on the images or include a text overlay.

Instagram Story | Ardent Creative Social Media Tips

I must admit that when I heard about the update I was completely opposed to the idea. Instagram has always been my favorite social media platform, and Snapchat has always been my least favorite. I absolutely love the clean and curated look you can create with your feed, as well as connecting to other users through hashtags, the discover page, and related accounts.

After discussing with others and actually trying Instagram stories, here are a few reasons I think it was a great move by Instagram.

Instagram isn’t trying to become Snapchat

By no means is Instagram actually trying to become Snapchat. It is simply making stories an additional feature to their well established platform. The stories take up a small amount of space on your homepage and the rest of your feed remains the same.

One downside to Instagram is that it tends to be a little too perfect. We’ve all seen the aesthetic Instagram with bright, perfectly styled images. With Instagram Stories, it adds a real and raw aspect to the Instagram platform. We can see that perfect artist we follow actually has a messy desk they cut out of the frame of their last photo. Turns out they are normal people after all!

Instagram was the original filter app

Everyone is freaking out about Instagram stealing the idea of 24 hour stories, but they are also forgetting what Snapchat stole from Instagram: filters.  While Snapchat’s filters have evolved to be extremely complex (including faceswap and dog faces), they got their original inspiration from Instagram.

The lack of fun filters on Instagram stories is not stopping many from putting it to use.  People are already writing tutorials on how to record videos using Snapchat’s filters and upload them to Instagram.

It’s hard to manage both Instagram and Snapchat

One of my favorite people to follow on Facebook and Instagram is Jeremy Cowart.  For those who don’t know him, he is an extremely successful photographer who also posts a lot of great content about his family (which is stinkin’ adorable), current events, and how to better the world. He recently posted his opinion on the new Instagram feature, which is how I think a lot of other people feel, too.  

Jeremy Cowart Facebook Mentions

Managing social media accounts is hard work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either not doing a very good job or has a lot of help. If you can combine two social media features into one, it saves time for you and will be easier for your viewers to keep up with. You can save so much time by utilizing your social platform with the largest following.

Aside from the few Snapchat stars out there, most people have a larger following on Instagram.

  1. Instagram was established in 2010, before Snapchat.
  2. Instagram has a broader audience, while Snapchat is made up of mostly young people.
  3. Snapchat has only more recently been utilized by businesses.
  4. Snapchat has no way to discover new people (going into detail about this next).

It’s easy to grow on Instagram

If you want to follow someone on Snapchat, you need to know them personally or have their username or Snapcode. While this is great for people who want privacy, it’s not so great for people trying to grow their account.  Thanks to hashtags and Instagram’s discovery feature, you can find accounts like yours and potential clients can find you!

We love this fun flowchart by Later that can help you decide if you should use Instagram Stories or stick to Snapchat: Should I use Instagram Stories?

Obviously everyone is going to have their own opinions on whether or not they like this change. Over the years, Facebook has made major changes. We all flipped out at the time, yet I don’t think any of us remember what Facebook was like in 2008.  In the end it’s best to do what’s best for your business, because Snapchat won’t be the answer for everyone and neither will Instagram. 

What are your thoughts on Instagram stories?