People had their doubts about the platform when it first made its debut in 2011, as to some it seemed like a fleeting trend. With 10 billion daily video views and over 100 million daily active users, Snapchat quickly proved its doubters counterfactual, and has become one of the most popular social media platforms among the millennial generation.
So successful has the application been, that on August 2nd, Instagram launched Instagram Stories, which mirrors Snapchat’s Stories almost identically in functionality. This has caused users to battle with opting for one platform over the other. Sure, there are plenty of pros and cons for each, but what does this mean for marketers and the brands they represent?
As more users lay eyes on the applications, marketers become increasingly interested in their functions and how to capture their audiences’ interest through their photo and video messaging platforms. Snapchat Stories allows room for a lot of creativity – with a variety of colors, filters and emojis, the screen of your smartphone becomes a blank canvas filled with endless marketable possibilities. Similarly, Instagram Stories holds the same functions, with the exception of filters, which Snapchat holds at an advantage, as they have proven to be a sensation among its users. One factor that marketers can agree is common for both platforms, is that the sense of urgency that the 10-second limit creates is a factor that appeals to them and allows them to tap into the platforms’ low-budget resources.
Brands are continuously coming up with innovative ways to use Snapchat and Instagram to their advantage. Whether it be giving a behind the scenes look at the company culture, the introduction of a new product, or providing exclusive deals to the company’s following, there are a number of ways in which these platforms can provide an increase in business. Yet the question still stands – should we pick a single one, and if so, which one?
In the end, we’ll let you decide, but maybe we can help with the decision. Here are a few pros and cons about each:
Instagram benefits from its user-friendly platform, which is easier to understand than Snapchat’s hidden menus and functions. Instagram’s single platform with multiple functionalities is also a factor that puts them ahead of the game, as you won’t have to work on building a completely new following on a whole separate platform, and you can just present yourself to your current users. On Instagram, Stories from followed accounts appear at the top of the user’s feed according to what the user’s interests are, as determined by an algorithm, setting an advantage for your brand, as you will pop-up on your biggest fans’ feeds. On the contrary, Snapchat’s Stories are presented chronologically. Ads on Instagram are more beautifully presented, catered to you, and are based on your geographic location, appealing to more users. Instagram Stories’ biggest downside: Well… It’s lack of originality, of course.
As far as Snapchat goes, the platform greatly benefits from buyer behavior -76% of Snapchat users purchased a product online in the last month. (HubSpot) Another factor that puts Snapchat at an advantage against Instagram is the fact that it has interactive face-mapping filters and Geo-tags, which have become quite the sensation since the platform’s update. Users are also fond of the fact that Snapchat has higher privacy control when it comes to screen-shotting, as the platform immediately informs the screenshot-ee, of the screenshotter’s action. Snapchat also has a friendly way of presenting stories from around the world, and filling you in on the latest information from your favorite magazines and websites, a feature that is searchable, but not as easily accessible or personalized on Instagram.
We’re on the same boat as every other user out there. We just can’t make up our minds on which platform to choose, if one has to be chosen. In the meanwhile, we’ll be on both – be sure to follow us on Snapchat under the user hypegroupsnaps and on Instagram under the handle @hypegroup! See you there!