Sharing Stories: Instagram vs Snapchat

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Earlier this month, Instagram announced its newest feature: Instagram Stories. Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram’s new feature allows users to post photos and videos that have a lifespan of 24-hours. For marketing professionals, the question of where brands need to have a presence and spend time emerges. Here are some key takeaways to help you make the best decision for your social media strategy:

 2016_instagram_logoInstagram Stories – The Pros and Cons

  • Pro: It’s easy to use. Users are familiar with the Instagram platform which makes sharing stories simple and straightforward. Instagram also provides a how-to guide within their platform for newbies and brand managers.
  • Pro: Users can leverage their existing follower base. Using Stories doesn’t mean having to create or migrate a follower base; it’s a way for users to strengthen existing relationships with their existing Instagram followers.
  • Con: Not as many personalized features. On Snapchat, brands and individual users can create filters and ads to have personalized content for users to engage with.
  • Con: Doesn’t fit with the Instagram culture, known for its almost-staged, well-manicured photos. The doodle features make images in stories look messy and are distracting to the overall feel of the platform.

badgalrihanna.w190.h190.2xSnapchat Stories – The Pros and Cons

  • Pro: it puts the user first. When Snapchat launches, the camera pops up right away, encouraging users to post. With Instagram, users have to navigate to Stories from their homepage… which on the other hand, does keep it front and centre.
  • Pro: Filters and Sponsored Ads, which develops a relationship with consumers through relevant and engaging content.
  • Con: Filters and Sponsored Ads. This is also a con because of the target market – Millennials. These young men and women are looking for social platforms that offer opportunities for self-expression. Although Snapchat ads offer a potential middle ground, Millennials may be turned off by seeing brands on the platform.

The verdict? My students constantly want to talk about Snapchat in class because it is relevant to their generation and I can see why. However, when it comes to social media strategy for a brand, Instagram takes the trophy – bottom line, it looks professional and meshes well with the platform’s current branding capabilities. Interesting in reading more? Mashable wrote an interesting comparison of the two platforms as well.

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