Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

I'm in New York having meeting in preparation for NYFW and excited for this new season ahead. This week's blogging tips is on a question I've been asked alot within the last week and thought it would be a perfect time to discuss the topic:

Now that the shock of Instagram Stories has faded and I've had time to play with it, I want to discuss it in comparison to Snapchat. Throughout the first couple weeks with Insta Stories, I was confused by what followers wanted to see on either platform, and it took a little bit to get the feel for using both, I would forget to post on one or the other.

I recently posed the question on Insta Stories and Snapchat about what you guys wanted to see from me from each platform and my feedback was very split: Don't get off Snapchat but make sure to use Insta Stories. As of now, I've been using Stories and Snapchat simultaneously because the feedback was split and I'm not fully sold on just using one- but you'll notice I post a bit more personal side on Snapchat overall.

I'd love to get a conversation going on this post, so please leave a comment with any thoughts!

Here's a breakdown of each platform, plus some pros and cons I have so far:

Instagram Stories

Similar to Snapchat, this feature lets you record 10-second long videos that last for 24 hours. Anyone who follows you can see your story simply by tapping on your Instagram profile photo. Stories that are furthest left (and first to be seen) are supposedly people you interact with or view most often. Stories give life to the stillness that was Instagram and your Insta followers now have the opportunity to get to know you on a more personal, raw level. You can also have a conversation (like Snapchat) and respond to people's stories via chat.

Pros

  • Instagram has more users (over double what Snapchat has), so Stories have the capability of reaching a much larger audience.
  • It's a seamless transition if you're already an avid Insta user—which I am. Opening one app as opposed to two is definitely easier.
  • Stories are user-friendly and simple to use.
  • Brands (like Nike, for example) are seeing elevated engagement with Stories, so it's the more business-savvy way to share and market products. As this article quoted, “Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform.”

Cons

  • There aren't filters (yet) and the ways to add uniqueness to a post are limited (I frequently upload my filters from Snapchat to my Insta Story to get around that)
  • It takes away from what Insta was—a place to view pictures (and some long-standing videos). People may be turned off by the addition of stories clogging the app.
  • A whole lot more people are seeing your story, so the need to make something feel “perfect” or “Insta worthy” feels stronger.
  • You're automatically forced to see Stories—or to swipe through—from every single person you follow.
  • Insta Story videos have such a bad lag- I've skipped quite a few videos just because they weren't loading (that's something Instagram I'm sure is working on though).

Snapchat

The OG of video sharing, Snapchat has been a cool way to interact with friends and followers. I've been a long-time fan of Snapchat and love the casual tone for sharing my life. You can send videos specifically to one person and start a conversation off a post. You can follow who you chose and only see snaps from a selected group.

Pros

  • The filters, duh! There's no way around it, Snapchat filters are tons of fun, and a great feature. These alone give a casual, silly component that I think Instagram lacks.
  • Like I mentioned, you can choose who you follow and who can chat you.
  • The video round-ups Snapchat makes and posts are entertaining, and often something that I wouldn't have seen otherwise (like a behind-the-scenes look at the Olympics). Plus, I don't have to start following new people to see those.

Cons

  • The biggest thing for me now, is it's one more app to open, check, and post on. In the already-busy life of a blogger on social media, Insta has made it tempting to use one app.
  • You have to know someone's exact user name to find and follow them. It's not as easy as searching on Instagram.
  • You are posting to and reaching a smaller number of people.

That being said, what am I missing? What other pros and cons have you noticed on each platform? What are you liking seeing on one vs. the other?

I'd love to get a conversation going on this post, so please leave a comment with any thoughts!

xx Brittany

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22 Comments

  1. Heather Ibberson August 17, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Such an interesting topic of discussion!

    I agree with all the above, but I have to say that as I’m still trying to build up my Instagram following and what you would consider as a smaller blogger, Instagram stories is scary for me! Simply because of that idea that Instagram is a place for curated content, and so I feel like if I put something too personal or ‘unclean’ on Instagram, that I’m likely to loose followers who don’t feel they know me well enough personally yet to want to follow. So for that reason, I haven’t really been using it.

    I am happy with using Snapchat as I do feel like I can be a bit more ‘raw’ on there. But an obvious downside is that sometimes I do feel like I’m talking to nobody because the following is of course lower, and having to try and guide people over to follow me on Snapchat is difficult, at least on Instagram the following and audience are already there and don’t have to be led elsewhere.

    If you have any tips for the above, it would be great to hear! I love reading your Blogging Tips and find your advice so honest and helpful :)

    Reply
  2. La Bijoux Bella | by mia August 17, 2016 at 5:55 am

    A very nice breakdown of both platforms. I really enjoy the analysis of it. Merci for sharing! :)

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    Reply
  3. Sia Foch August 17, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I’m a huge fan of Instagram stories (written an article to this function on my blog)! The first thing that this is easier to use and in my favorite app. And, yes, we need filters and special stickers.

    -xx, Sia
    http://www.siafoch.com

    Reply
  4. Lauren August 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

    I really love Insta Stories but then I didn’t have SnapChat so I guess I can’t really compare. The reason I never had Snapchat however was bcos I couldn’t be bothered with so many apps so I guess Insta is good for that.

    On another note, could you do an Insta Stories 101 bcos I don’t know how to use it fully (I know it’s user friendly) but I don’t know how to add photos from my album for example, can you do that?x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

    Reply
  5. Amy August 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Totally agree with your assessment of Insta stories vs. Snapchat! I think the biggest thing for me is that Instagram Stories has a bigger reach, but Snapchat is just sooo much more personal and raw. Also, Snapchat lacks that discovery feature, so it really does feel like you’re communicating to your close friends. I also think Instagram Stories needs to be organized better – you’re forced to watch everyone’s stories and it feels cluttered and time consuming. Only time will tell, but I think two very different platforms will emerge – not giving up on Snapchat yet!

    xx, Amy
    http://www.theluxilook.com

    Reply
  6. Fashion and Frappes August 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I am vey new on Snapchat but have a bad feeling that Snapchat is on its way out with Instagram Stories. Once Instagram added videos, Vine was over so I feel the same thing is going to happen to Snapchat. Add to that the inability to find people, no links etc. makes it a difficult marketing tool. I am quite excited about Insta stories actually – whatever I have used of it, I have enjoyed. I especially love the ability to scrawl over the photos and write something with your finger – just fun!

    http://www.FashionandFrappes.com

    Reply
  7. Thuy August 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I do like that Instagram Stories means you can stay on one app but the lag is super annoying. I also find myself only watching certain peoples’ Instagram Stories due to seeing so many more Stories in my feed. I wouldn’t mind if bloggers just used Stories on Snapchat just because they load way faster. But if they stuck to Instagram, I would only watch a select few.

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

    Reply
  8. Thuy August 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I also get annoyed when people repeat their Snapchats on Instagram. Once I catch wind that they do it, I don’t watch their Instagram Stories anymore!

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

    Reply
  9. Meghan August 17, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I’m still on the fence about Instagram stories. While I use it to promote my brand, I love using Snapchat because of their fun filters.

    Meghan | BeyondBasicBlog.com

    Reply
  10. Rosa August 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I’m loving the Instagram stories right now. I tried to start up a Snapchat a while ago, but I couldn’t understand how to use it very well so just got bored and gave up with it.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

    Reply
  11. Jessica August 17, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Well, it seems like I’m the only one who still doesn’t have Instagram Stories! I’ve updated my app several times so that’s not the problem. So don’t stop posting on snap because I can’t see Insta Stories yet!

    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

    Reply
  12. Christina Rice August 17, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    As someone with a small blog following who is trying to gain more exposure, Instagram stories is a huge asset for me because I have a much larger Instagram following than Snapchat. Instagram Stories allows people to see my personality more without having to follow me on Snapchat, and that has helped me gain a lot of followers already. I also like how everything is just in one app. That being said, I still love Snapchat and I tend to use it more for more “personal” things that I want my friends to see. I do kind of wish there was just one or the other though – it seems like such a waste of time and a lot of effort to have to constantly update both, and it’s a pain in the butt to decide what goes on Insta and what goes on Snap!

    Reply
  13. Elizabeth T. August 17, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Really liked this thorough and in-depth compare and contrast of the two. Honestly, I kind of feel like the new Insta-Stories takes away from what Instagram is really about. And just like you said, Instagram is more of a follower platform, while Snapchat is more personal, and friend-based. Haha only time will tell how well Instagram Stories does, and how it’ll really compare with Snapchat. Thank you so much for this great post :)

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

    Reply
  14. Konstancja August 18, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Hi Brittany, this maybe a little off topic this week but I know you’re always encouraging unexperienced bloggers like myself to ask questions :) I was hoping you could help me out with this- what’s the deal with sharing photos from other blogs/Instagram/Tumblr/etc on your blog? Of course, with giving credit to the author/the person who originally shared the picture. I read all about copyright, using public domains as your image resources but it’s still really confusing to me. Some responses I found stated that you should always ask the person for permission to use their photo (for example comment on their Instagram). I thought- wouldn’t I be bothering everyone? ;) Or what if that person has 1million followers on Instagram and won’t even see my comment/message. I also see other bloggers frequently doing “inspiration” posts, for example discussing a trend, let’s say “velvet for fall” and they share pics from other bloggers, Tumblr, Instagram and I don’t even know where else because the pictures are often not credited. I know some bloggers may include a statement in their bio saying that they do not agree to sharing any of their pictures without permission but what if I found their picture on Tumblr, there was no information on who was the original owner/photographer, am I guilty if I share that picture on my blog? I would appreciate your advice! Thank you!
    XX

    Reply
  15. Jasmine August 18, 2016 at 12:21 am

    This was really interesting! At first, I was like “no way, not using this!” now it’s just way easier since I’m always on Instagram and more people will see the stories. I think it’s a great way to kind of show behind the scenes and then actually post your picture after on the same platform. I too am waiting for the filters! lol it’s all we really need at this point!

    xx Jasmine | http://www.jasmineworewhat.com

    Reply
  16. Hayley Larue August 18, 2016 at 12:39 am

    I totally agree with all of your pros and cons! If the instagram stories came around before snapchat, I feel like I would like it more, but I barely watch instagram stories, because I already have snapchat to follow up with. But if I had to choose between instagram stories or snapchat, I’d choose snapchat for sure!

    BlondieInTheCity.com

    Reply
  17. Whitney August 18, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I have never had Snapchat. I’ve always felt like it was just one more thing to deal with in social media trends. However, I also hadn’t started a blog while having those thoughts. I’ve been trying to grow my IG following the last month since starting my blogging journey (I started both late July). I’ve done one Insta Story because it seems that only people who follow you can see it… is this correct or am I mistaken? I’ve been frustrated in the slow growth of my IG (ThePennilessPrincess)… but I’ve got 38 followers after less than a month so I’m assuming patience is the key. :) I’m not exactly sure still how to use Snapchat to drive growth for my blog. Can only people who are following you see your content? So many questions!! :)

    Reply
  18. Rachael Thomas August 18, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I’m such a Snapchat lover, and trying to open up to Insta Stories. I feel like I need to post to Insta Stories since I have a larger following there. However, because it’s Instagram and everything is so curated, I feel that my stories need to look pretty, unlike the rawness that I have on Snapchat, which is making me post less often. Does anyone else feel like this? Anyway, I’m trying to get used to using both, but definitely prefer Snapchat over Insta Stories.
    Rachael
    http://www.threadsforthomasblog.com

    Reply
  19. Ann Krembs August 23, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I find that I’m using Insta Stories for my brand, Kremb de la Kremb. On Snapchat, you get the real, goofball, honest old me.

    I like that Insta Stories offers me a broader viewing for sure.

    I don’t know why I’m being so silly about it, but I prefer to use each one uniquely and not cross over in posting–meaning I don’t save a story from one to post to the other. It’s probably the librarian in me that it trying to use each one organically. Silly right?!

    Anyway, it has sure been difficult to navigate two. Just when I started getting the hang of Snapchat, Insta Story came along. As if we don’t have enough right?! Kind of cracks me up.

    For what it’s worth, I like following and viewing you and your fam on both Brittany!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

    Oh, PS @krembdelakremb on both Instagram and Snapchat! *wink wink*

    Reply
  20. Jeremy Velasco November 10, 2016 at 5:49 am

    I find it very disturbing how Insta Stories is trying to sweep off Snapchat because Instagram is a place where I share photos and videos in a grid and Snapchat is a place I share stories.

    Although I’m an avid fan of Snapchat right even before the filters started coming in, my phone doesn’t seem to be working with Snapchat pretty well. Whenever I use the front cam on Snapchat, the rear would eventually be “broken.” I’ll have to clear the camera data then restart my phone.

    When I saw Insta Stories, I was like, “This is basically Snapchat, so why?” But then I just might make it my Snapchat 2.0 because of the issues I’m having with Snapchat itself, so I uninstalled it and just used Insta Stories (but not as much as I use Snapchat.)

    Reply

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