The launch of Instagram Stories sent shockwaves through the marketing world leaving many wondering who wins the battle for social media supremacy between Instagram vs Snapchat. Now, brands have twice as many social media options when it comes to creating and publishing authentic, “in-the-moment” disappearing photos and videos—the type of content that was previously only available on Snapchat—and leading many marketers to ask the questions: What are the most notable differences between Instagram newest feature and Snapchat? And which platform is best for my next social media or influencer marketing campaign?
Not sure which social media platform is best for your brand’s marketing content? See our original infographic for a visual comparison of Instagram Stories and Snapchat, including audience demographics, features, functions, and more:
Instagram’s total daily user active base counts at 600 million. This figure gives Instagram nearly four times the reach that Snapchat, which boasts over 158 million daily active users, can offer.
Though Snapchat audiences skew a bit younger than Instagram’s, both platforms are adept at attracting teenage and millennial social media audiences. Again, Instagram has a slight advantage over Instagram —around 50% of 12- to 34-year-olds use Instagram, compared to 40% of the same age demographic that uses Snapchat. Moreover, Instagram possesses an American audience of 77 million users, where Snapchat is estimated to reach 70.4 million in 2017.
On Instagram, teens will spend 20 minutes per day on the app, and on Snapchat, teens will spent 25 minutes per day on the app. In this instance, Snapchat time spent and engagement time is longer.
Instagram has long made “search” an integral part of the app, and users can find top Instagrammers, friends, brands, and content by searching names, hashtags, and locations. On the other hand, Snapchat’s search is centered around messaging, where users can search by Quick Chat, Groups, New Friends, Quick Add, and Contacts. Users can also discover new content through the “Discovery” feature, which features Snapchat Stories created by media partners.
According to L2 reports, over 90% of global brands are now on Instagram compared to less than 50% who claim to be on Snapchat.
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With Geofilters, lenses, and Bitmojis, Snapchat clearly has more to offer users in this category. Instagram currently only provides users with a way to write on Instagram Stories with the addition of stickers (both of which are also available on Snapchat).
Functionality can be difficult to define, and here we use the term to show how both Instagram Stories and Snapchat interacts with users and the content published on the platform.
Generally, both apps are similar in their functions. Both apps have a 10 second limit on a story video, a display period of 24 hours, and the ability to rewind content on a story. However, within Snapchat, users will be notified when a screenshot has been taken and users are can send to send private, personal snaps as messages. Instagram Stories, in comparison, only alerts users when a screenshot is taken of disappearing content sent in direct messaged and does not have messaging within Stories.