The Definitive Answer to the Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories Debate
Okay maybe not the definitive, but our definitive answer...
Despite the similarities between the two platforms (read: Instagram’s ripoff of Snapchat), I’m of the belief that Snapchat is not going anywhere anytime soon. Instagram stories is not the “nail in Snapchat’s coffin.” Coexistence is possible.
However, a lot of content creators have groaned about the need to create double the content with the introduction of Instagram stories-- but really, you may not need to. You shouldn’t jump onto every new hot platform just because it’s the new thing-- being on every social channel dilutes you as a creator and influencer. It’s better to nail down two, maybe three platforms total. Depending on what sort of content creator you are, Instagram stories has advantages, but so does Snapchat. It’s all about figuring out which one is best for you, and if you use both, it’s about clearly differentiating the type of content you’re sharing on each.
WHY INSTAGRAM STORIES ARE A GOOD THING
There’s no denying it, Instagram stories are a positive development for influencers-- Instagram has twice as many daily users as Snapchat along with an easier search and discovery function, so from a reach standpoint, Instagram is the head honcho.
Advertising Age reported that Nike generated 800,000 views on their first ever Instagram story, versus 66,000 views on their most viewed Snapchat story. That’s an extreme case but it’s obvious that on Instagram more people will see your story, period.
WHY SNAPCHAT STILL ROCKS
The questionable thing about Instagram stories (and Instagram in general) is the issue of quantity over quality-- who are those 30k people viewing and responding to your story? Are they even human? Instagram is riddled with bots and spam, unlike Snapchat where your following is bound to be human and much more invested in you and your brand. Only the most loyal followers will follow you there.
So one thing you need to consider is what your goals are: sheer numbers, or building deeper connections with your followers? Instagram may now allow you to broadcast a more unfiltered view of your life and work which will deepen your relationships with followers, but I think Snapchat still feels more intimate. Plus, the lack of visible vanity metrics maintains Snapchat’s dominance as the only social media platform that isn’t a popularity contest-- it’s solely about connecting and communicating with people. Not to mention Snapchat’s customization still blows Instagram’s out of the water. At least for now…
SO WHICH SHOULD YOU USE?
The answer to this question is simpler than some have been making it out to be:
- If you have an established presence and following on Instagram but not on Snapchat, dive into Instagram stories and don’t bother trying to move your followers over to Snapchat.
- If you have an established presence and following on Snapchat but not Instagram-- stay there. Your followers aren’t going to leave you in the lurch.
- If you’re established on Snapchat and Instagram, maintain your Snapchat presence, and then you have two options for Instagram stories: 1) forego it, and just stick to Snapchat stories, or 2) use Instagram stories for a particular type of content, and Snapchat for another type-- just be intentional about it. Perhaps you’ll post the behind the scenes unfiltered view of your life on Snapchat, and then use Instagram stories to share your workflow or creative tips and tricks.
Instagram stories may offer you the robust statistics that help you score a brand partnership or higher compensation but Snapchat will yield more intimate and community building interactions with your followers. So before you rush into doubling up content on both Snapchat and Instagram stories, take a hard look at your goals and develop a storytelling content strategy that is true to your voice, your brand, and your objectives.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.