Instagram vs Snapchat – Which Tells A Better Story For Your Brand? – Let’s Find Out

Updated on: Oct 24, 2017

Instagram vs Snapchat – When Instagram and Snapchat came out in 2010 and 2011 respectively, both had established unique ways of storytelling and carried on peacefully, content with the distinction.

However, with the advent of Instagram stories in mid-2016 and the regular release of competitive updates from both platforms, the lines of clear distinction between the two are becoming more and more blurry.

Due to such similarities, marketers are finding it difficult to decide which platform they should target. 

If you’re wondering, “Which is better, Instagram or Snapchat?” or “What does Snapchat have that Instagram doesn’t?” and other questions. Don’t worry, you’ll find all of your answers in this blog.

This article will answer all your questions and help marketers, like you, to make the decision between Instagram and Snapchat. 

Bonus Read: How to grow your business using Instagram Business Account?

So, let’s get started……….

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Instagram vs Snapchat: Difference Between The Two

Further, we will discuss how Snapchat & Instagram work on various aspects which will help you determine the better option for you

1. Posting Content

Snapchat allows you to share snaps (photos and videos) with your followers through your ‘story’. There are a variety of editing options for these snaps such as text options, stickers, geo-filters, personalized Bitmoji, video filters and an enormous variety of lenses. 

Snaps are shot from the phone and are not obliged to look professional. In fact, Snapchat users prefer seeing very casual snaps even from brands. One of the key features of Snapchat Stories is that they disappear after 24 hours.

Instagram Vs Snapchat - posting Content
On Instagram, you can post single photos, multiple photos, minute-long videos and boomerangs on your permanent feed. In addition, you can share 24-hour disappearing stories – just like Snapchat – and go live from the app. Although Instagram stories may have a limited number of filters, they have become extremely popular thanks to their regular updates.

Instagram stories have made it possible to tag other users, insert clickable hashtags and also provide call-to-action buttons for verified accounts.

Instagram vs Snapchat - Instagram post

Instagram vs Snapchat - Snapchat stories
Takeaway: If you have a more playful, online voice, Snapchat’s editing features would be more up your alley. Snapchat would also be a better option if you do not have adequate time to create beautiful, Instagram-worthy posts. 

2. Engagement

Instagram engagement can take the form of likes, comments, shares and direct messages (DM). Viewers can also respond to stories as well as join live streaming.

Snapchat engagement is more personal. You can send and receive messages directly from a user and there are ways to provoke viewers to send messages to you. Engagement can also be seen by the number of views, the completion rate and the number of screenshots taken.

Takeaway: If you are keen on building a relationship with your audience and engaging with them, then Snapchat is a better option. Otherwise, Instagram wins on the sheer variety of engagement tools available for your audience.

3. Statistics

There are almost 1.074 billion Instagram users worldwide in 2021, and Snapchat has over 530 million active users in 2021. 

And a maximum number of users of Snapchat is teens and young adults, whereas 75% of Instagrams users are aged between 18-24. 

Takeaway: If your audience is dominated by teens and young adults, Snapchat would be a better bang for your buck because the people who have Snapchat on their phones regularly use it, are loyal to it and tend to have more interactions with brands. And if you have a broader audience, Instagram would be a better choice.

4. Discovering New Accounts

The ‘explore’ tab on Instagram makes it very easy for users to discover accounts that they would like to follow and interact with. Users also regularly get follow recommendations while scrolling through their feed and when they follow another user. Searching a hashtag or viewing the top live stream are other ways to find new users.

Instagram vs Snapchat - Insta search
Also Read: How to Select Hashtags for Instagram?

Discovering new accounts is not as simple on Snapchat. Users can add other users by their username, address book contact or Snapcode. This means that brands would have to announce their usernames and Snapcodes on other social media platforms in order to attain more followers. The exploration of accounts can be done only through the featured section of authorised publishers.

Instagram vs Snapchat - Snapchat search
Takeaway: Snapchat relies almost exclusively on other creative forms of advertising and word-of-mouth marketing whereas Instagram makes it very easy to find new accounts, thus easily increasing the visibility of your brand and getting you genuine followers.

5. Advertising

Instagram being a sister company of Facebook has a very sophisticated advertising system. Ads will appear in the feeds and stories of users and will be tagged as ‘sponsored’. There will also be a call to action available. 

One great benefit of advertising on Instagram is that since they are run through a Facebook account, the ads will run on two social media platforms and not just one, and that will result in increasing the reach. 

Instagram vs Snapchat - Insta Ads
Snapchat’s advertising offerings are as follows: live stories, appearing in the featured section, snap ads, and creating custom geo-filters and lenses for your brand. All of these, however, are very expensive.

Instagram vs Snapchat - Snapchat filters
Takeaway: When it comes to advertising, Instagram is easily the better option as you only have to shell out a minimum of $1 to advertise there. Snapchat advertising can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000.

6. Analytics

Instagram analytics are trackable through their native offerings or through other third-party applications. Metrics such as follower count, likes, comments and other engagement rates, story views, call-to-action clicks, etc can be tracked and evaluated.

Snapchat analytics take the form of story views, completion rate and screenshots taken. Moreover, since there is no native offering, the analytics have to be taken and noted before the story disappears in 24 hours! However, a software called Snaplytics has made this job very easy.

Takeaway: When it comes to measuring your marketing efforts, Instagram does a far better job in providing tools to evaluate your performance compared to Snapchat.

7. Stories

Instagram and Snapchat stories are quite similar. Except for one thing. when you begin viewing one person’s Instagram Story, unless you click out, you are seamlessly transitioned into the next person’s story. 

This results in a more addictive experience and keeps you in the Stories feature for a longer period of time.

But the viewers on Snapchat are asked if they want to see the next person’s story. Your followers can skip over your story without opening it, which isn’t ideal for your business.

Instagram Stories are designed to ensure that you watch all of your followers’ stories, that is why the view rate of Instagram stories is 28% higher than Snapchat Stories. 

Instagram vs Snapchat - Instagram stories
Takeaway: When it comes to comparing stories, Instagram is the clear winner in this category. When compared to Snapchat, your brand will benefit the most from Instagram’s stories features.

Now let’s take a look at some of the additional features of Instagram and Snapchat, that will help you to decide which is the best platform for your business to market your products & services. 

Some Additional Features of Instagram

  • Businesses and brands can fully utilise the platform by switching to a ‘business account’, which makes their page more searchable and allows others to see direct contact information.
  • By using the IGTV feature of Instagram, the brands can post a longer video on Instagram. And With the use of various Call-to-action buttons, the users can take the appropriate action and may end up buying your product or services. 
  • Instagram also allows for one-on-one communication through a private messaging system, which allows you to respond to customers quickly and point them in the right direction.
  • Instagram has introduced “Reels”, a new short video sharing feature, where you can create and upload a video of max 60 seconds. And the best part is that your brand can give a sponsored ad of 30 seconds in the reels section. The engagement rate of reels is very high and businesses can take huge advantage of this. 

For knowing much about Instagram Reels, check out our detailed blog on “New Instagram Reels Insights”.

  • As Instagram is the sister company of Facebook, your ads will be viewed by both the audiences of Instagram and Facebook. 
  • Because of the seamless integration with Facebook, you can easily share an image from one app to the other, including tags.
  • The use of hashtags and links will allow you to connect the images with your website, blog, and other social media platforms. 
  • Allows businesses to communicate directly with followers, encourages user interaction and engagement through private and public comment options.

Instagram has a bunch of features that make it a great tool for social media marketing.

And if you want to make yourself an expert in social media marketing, then we suggest you sign in for our Online Social Media Marketing Course, which will give you all insights about social media marketing. 

And if you wish to gain knowledge of Digital Marketing as a whole then you must check out our Online Digital Marketing Course in India

Some Additional Features of Snapchat

  • Snapchat has 400 million daily users. As a result, your chances of increasing brand awareness and exposure are quite good.
  • It’s great for grabbing people’s attention and instilling a sense of urgency—this message will self-destruct in 10 seconds, making it ideal for time-sensitive promotions and pop-up sales.
  • Encourages user interaction through private messaging options; allows users to send a brand-posted story to a friend via direct message.
  • Snapchat’s filters are still unbeatable and the best when compared to Instagram. 
  • When it comes to filtering animation, Snapchat is truly one-of-a-kind. They have a much larger selection of filters than Instagram. They also use augmented reality effects, which Instagram and other social media platforms do not.

Final Verdict: Instagram vs Snapchat 

Now you are aware of all the features of Instagram and Snapchat, and the pros and cons of Snapchat and Instagram. 

Taking into account all of the features and pros and cons, we believe Instagram is the clear winner in this game.

Because Instagram is the most popular and widely used social media platform among these two, and the number of active users is also higher than that of Snapchat. Also, Instagram advertising costs much less than Snapchat advertising.

The most important factor that distinguishes Instagram from Snapchat is its reach. Almost all types of businesses can use Instagram, and they can reach a wide range of audiences by utilising this social media platform.

But that doesn’t mean Snapchat isn’t worthwhile and useful. In terms of numbers, Instagram has 65% effectiveness and Snapchat has 35% effectiveness.

At last, the use of any social media platform depends upon your business. Who is your target audience, which app do they use the most, and so on.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Let us know your views in the comments section given below. 

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Aneri Joshi

Digital Marketing Consultant & Trainer at IIDE

A digital marketing consultant with over 8 years of experience in the digital marketing field. She is an alumnus of the prestigious Welingkar Institute of Management & MET College of Pharmacy [Read more]


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