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Instagram vs. Snapchat

Snapchat versus Instagram Stories: Who will win?

Mar 23, 2017

If you’ve been keeping up with social media trends, you’ve probably heard about the heavily debated topic of Snapchat versus Instagram Stories.

The two platforms, which allow users to share photos or 10-second videos to a timeline that disappears after 24 hours, have been competing for audiences ever since Instagram released its Stories feature -- which most agree to be a direct copy of Snapchat -- last August. This infographic does a great job of breaking down the features of both platforms if you’re not already familiar.

So, what does this mean for brands and organizations trying to reach audiences on these platforms? Let’s break it down by feature.


Snapchat may have done it first, but Instagram did it better. The user interface for Instagram Stories is cleaner and easier to navigate, and the ability to tag other pages, link out to a website and save messages is crucial for brands. There’s also multiple ways to capture and share content, including hands-free, live-video, boomerang and photos. With all of these features, users and brands have a lot more room to play on Instagram Stories.

Lenses and Geofilters

For now, there’s no real comparison to Snapchat’s face-altering lenses and location-based Geofilters. These features are a key factor in Snapchat’s appeal over other apps, allowing users to personalize their experience and brands to promote themselves through Geofilters.


In terms of reach, there's no contest. The number of users on Instagram is huge compared to Snapchat. According to Bloomberg, Snapchat had 150 million active users every day in 2016. Meanwhile, Instagram has more than 600 million registered users, with more than 300 million of them logging into the app daily. As a brand, it’s hard to make the argument to continue efforts to grow your Snapchat audience and push out content when you already have a larger audience and built-in following on Instagram.

User preference

After asking friends and colleagues, and becoming more observant of my daily social media habits, it’s clear there is a developing divide of what content users prefer to see and share on each platform. While I don’t think anyone will be deleting their Snapchat anytime soon, the app is becoming a more intimate place for friend-to-friend interaction, sharing funny videos and personal thoughts. Instagram Stories serves as a space for more curated, brand-focused content that allows for more interaction, while still engaging and easy to digest.

What are your thoughts on Snapchat and Instagram Stories right now?

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