I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, Instagram has something new (kind of). Last week Instagram launched a new feature, Stories, that is pretty much the same thing as a Snapchat Story. Instagram already has video, why create another product, especially so similar to a competing platform? The company says stories are going to take away that fear of over posting (and Insta sin). Instagram wants to capitalize on the daily posting people may be doing on Snapchat + get people in their app more. And why wouldn’t they with 500 million stories posted per day. “Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights + everything in between, too.”
If they’re basically the same, what’s different?
I’m glad you asked. First + foremost, Instagram + Snapchat are used differently. Because different networks have different audiences, the same content does not always work across every channel. Though Instagram profiles can be private, it is a much more public network than Snapchat. Most people would consider Snapchat much more intimate.
Based on the first week of Instagram stories, I am definitely seeing this trend. Instagram stories are much more polished + less gritty for lack of a better word than Snapchat. One reason for this difference in intimacy is the number of users people are connected with on Instagram vs. Snapchat. Instagram has double the number of active users, 300 million, of Snapchat.
Instagram is also much more brand friendly. While Snapchat has been expanding it’s advertising opportunities, it does not have a discover feature where people can find new friends + brands. It just isn’t a brand-friendly platform unless you’re a publisher or have big bucks to spend. Instagram is searchable, has a more developed ad platform, and makes more sense for brands.
For me, the biggest difference in Snapchat Stories + Instagram Stories is the images themselves. Instagram has some great doodling pens, but that’s about it. There are no lenses or geofilters. These are a huge feature for Snapchat users. Snapchat now even lets you design + place your own filters. I don’t foresee Instagram adding these features as they want to appeal as a more polished platform. I do think they will add the ability to put their filters on stories soon.
Have you tried Instagram Stories? Love it or hate it? I haven’t quite decided how I feel about it yet but Snapchat definitely still has my heart.