Instagram v. Snapchat Stories 1; photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Instagram v. Snapchat Stories: Which one is best for your business?

Featured Image Source: Unsplash


Snapchat truly was a gift to the people. Dog filters, flower crowns, the ability to post potentially embarrassing pictures for 5 seconds before they’re deleted forever. When it launched in September 2011, the social app took young audiences by storm by giving them a way to send out small updates about their day without having to perfect the moment with an Instagram-level glam shot.


And since its launch, Snapchat’s daily video views have increased 400% each year and Snapchat ads are viewed up to a million times per day. Moreover, the platform now has more users than Twitter, and 60% of all smartphone users have Snapchat downloaded.


However, Instagram quickly took note of all that success. Last year the social media behemoth launched their own copycat version of snapchat with ‘Instagram Stories.’ Equipped with their own copycat dog filter and everything. And since Instagram already had a well-established user base, it was easy for a lot of people to simply use Instagram stories instead of splitting their time and energy between two different social apps.




But I wouldn’t count Snapchat out just yet. The two different social apps still attract different audiences and offer different experiences for users.


So, between these two competing social stories platforms, which one should companies turn to for their video marketing strategies?


Well, it depends.


What are the demographics of your target audience? What product or service are you selling? Is your goal to appear more polished or are you looking for a more personal connection with your audience?


Keep these questions in mind while we take a look at the differences between Instagram v. Snapchat stories.


Who is currently using Instagram v. Snapchat stories?


Today, ‘Instagram Stories’ has a higher number of daily active users. Where Snapchat has 166 million daily active users, Instagram Stories has 250 million. (As can be seen in the growth graph from Recode.)


Instagram v. Snapchat 2; Graph from Recode


However, Snapchat still has a higher ratio of millennial users compared to Instagram stories, with millennials accounting for 70% of Snapchat users.


And, according to a Mediakix infographic, 60% of Snapchat monthly US users are between the ages of 13 and 24, and 30% of teens rank Snapchat as their number one social media network. Comparatively, 59% of internet users between 18 and 29 years old use Instagram, and 17% of teens say Instagram is the most important social media site.


So, whereas Instagram stories now has more users, Snapchat still appears to have a dedicated younger user base. Keep this in mind when you are determining who it is you want to market to.




Next, what sort of content is popular on each of the platforms?


Instagram v. Snapchat Stories 3; photo by Ragnar Vorel on Unsplash


Instagram is the home for all things flawless and/or quintessential. People look to Instagram for fashion ideas, makeup and beauty inspiration, high-quality food pics and images of gorgeous places to travel. If your company falls into one of these categories, or is looking to appear more refined, Instagram might be the better option for your video marketing strategy


On the other hand, Snapchat tends to be a more personal and intimate platform with a focus on communication between friends. The app typically involves less editing and more “in-the-moment” content from it’s users. So if your goal is to connect on a more personal level with your target audience or to appear more unedited and approachable, Snapchat might be the better option for you. 


So, after you’ve decided between Instagram v. Snapchat, how might your company use the ‘stories’ feature?


You could


  • Offer special discounts that only last the duration of the story – i.e. 24 hours
  • Collaborate with other companies or influencers and have them take over your company’s story for the day.
  • Use it as a way to show off your company’s personality. Tell jokes, introduce employees, or tell fun facts related to your product/service.
  • Give a behind the scenes look at the production process.
  • Hold special contests.


Don’t be afraid to get creative and personal. The stories feature was made to show off creativity and personality. It should be used that way for your business as well.




Now, even though we’ve been comparing these two platforms, it could very well be best for your company to market on both apps.


Instagram v. Snapchat Stories 4


Depending on your budget and company type, marketing on both of these platforms may help you reach a larger segment of your own target audience. However, is it important to note that there is some overlap when it comes to Snapchat’s and Instagram’s users. So if you do advertise on both apps, make sure you’re not posting the exact same content. And make sure the content is entertaining or valuable to each platform’s audience.


In the end, as social platforms and technology evolve, your video marketing strategy on these platforms will need to evolve too. But understanding who’s currently using these platforms, and understanding why they’re using them, will help you to decide which one’s to include in your video marketing strategy so you can reach your own target audience in a more impactful way.



Dana High is a Marketing and Communications intern at Green Buzz Agency. She still prefers Snapchat to Instagram but wishes Snapchat would bring back the rainbow filter more often.

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