When Instagram introduced their new Stories feature this week. It was obvious that Facebook (the company that owns Instagram) was making a move to directly take on Snapchat. Especially after failing to buy Snapchat earlier in the year.

So lets pit the two short form social media apps against each other and see which of the two platforms is better for your social media strategy. Here’s our look at Snapchat Stories vs Instagram Stories.

Snapchat Stories

When Snapchat migrated from being a person to person visual communication tool, to being a platform to tell stories in October 2013. It changed the way social media users consumed content. Unlike other social platforms at the time it gave a place for short form content that expired after 24 hours.

It made the platform ideal for that less professional content. Content that could be posted in an instant, with little to no editing (only the filters enabled within the app). Creating a more personal connection with personalities and/or brands and their audiences.

The addition of Snapchat Lenses and Geofilters again added to the personal nature of Instagram. Lenses put a focus on the “selfie” creating interesting and unique ways to incorporate a users face into snaps. While Geofilters added GPS specific filters to certain locations.

Snapchat also added the ability for companies to sponsor these filters. Allowing creative ways for larger companies to get their message out.

Recently Snapchat just added Memories to the app. Allowing users to add older content into their Snapchat Stories, but the focus is still on in the moment content. With memories, particularly those generated outside of the app, deliberately showcased in a different format. To find out more about Snapchat Memories feature check out the Snapchat Blog.

Instagram Stories

Instagram has evolved from people sharing photos of their lunch to a proper photo and video community, allowing users and brands to share high quality content with their followers.

While Instagram initially made its name by allowing users to quickly add stunning filters to their images. It was when Instagram added the ability for users to add photos and videos that had been edited outside of the app that the platform really took off. It allowed users to use the app to showcase their best work. Which lead to Instagram becoming the place for personalities and brands to showcase their best work.

Taking advantage of the same searchable hashtags that made Twitter popular. Instagram then evolved into a place to where users could easily discover new content.

Now Instagram has added the Stories feature. While it doesn’t really fit into the existing design and functionality of the app. It does return the app back to that instant content with the filters that initially allowed Instagram to make its name. While allowing the app to compete with Snapchat.

If you’d like to find out more about the new Instagram Stories feature, then have a look at this Instagram Blog post.

Snapchat Stories vs Instagram Stories

The problem with Snapchat Stories has always been building an audience. That lack of inherent ability to discover new content and users within the app, has always limited the application. Personalities and brands had to rely on an audience they’ve built on another platform and then convince them to then follow on Snapchat.

Instagram Stories will now allow personalities and brands to become personal with an audience they’ve already built (and have been building since 2010). While still being a place to showcase their discoverable professional content. The short-term instant content of Stories allows for the addition of that quick throw away content, that’s not reflection of the professional content that stays beyond 24 hours.

So which of the two should you be using? It depends on where your audience is. If your new to Snapchat or looking to get into Snapchat and don’t have an established audience yet. Then leveraging the discoverability of Instagram is a better way to build and grow an audience. Making Instagram a better place to start.

While if you’ve already established audience on both platforms. Instagram can be a place to showcase a slightly more professional product offering behind the scenes to the professional content that lives more permanently within the application. Using Stories to direct your audience to things that are happening in the moment. While Snapchat can be that place where you have a little more fun with your audience. Taking advantage of Lenses and Geofilters to create a more personal relaxed experience. Using the tow different platforms to offer your audience slightly different content.

If your haven’t looked into Instagram as part of your social media strategy. Then you’re really missing out. It’s one of the easiest platforms for having your content and brand discovered.

For another opinion on Snapchat Stories vs Instagram Stories, have a look at this creative video from Amy Schmittauer at savvysexysocial.com

Looking to improve your social media strategy? Get in touch with InSyde Media to discuss what we can do for your online business presence.