Instagram vs Snapchat? Not sure which one to use for your brand or business? Both of the platforms have grown at an amazingly speedy rate. And their features compete directly with one another. This makes it a tricky task to figure out which platform to use for your brand. 

You may be thinking: “Why can’t I use them both?”. You certainly can use them both if you want to. But, at the end of the day, your social media marketing plan needs focus and it doesn’t always make sense to use both. This article will help you choose the best platform for you!

Snapchat vs Instagram: The Origin Stories

Instagram is currently the largest growing social media platform. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger created the social media giant in San Francisco. Although there was over a year’s worth of work that went into creating the site, it took approximately 8 weeks to build it and it was launched in October 2010. 

Instagram became an instant hit with upwards of 100,000 users in a week. Today, Instagram is part of the Facebook group, which has some of the most popular social media platforms under its umbrella.

Snapchat was created amongst university mates who took a passing idea and turned it into real profit. The idea came from Reggie Brown who thought: “I wish these photos I am sending this girl can disappear.” So, together with Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, they created Picaboo in 2011, which later became Snapchat. By April 2012, they had over 100,000 users and today has over 249 million daily active users

Snapchat vs Instagram: The Differences 

Now that we know a little bit more about Snapchat and Instagram, let’s get into the reason why you’re reading this article. Round 1 – The Battle Of The Visual Giants: Snapchat vs Instagram. 

Audience 

When it comes to audience, Instagram definitely dominates Snapchat with user numbers. Statista recorded 1,158 million Instagram users as of October 2020. This places Instagram sixth in the number of overall social media users behind Facebook, Youtube, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat. Snapchat came 12th with 433 million users

Instagram has also been growing at a steady rate, while Snapchat’s growth rate has stagnated slightly. 

Who exactly tunes in to the social media platforms?

Instagram has an older audience base than Snapchat, with American users between 18 and 

29 being the dominant users. Snapchat is most popular among younger users and teenagers with over 60% of Snapchat users are below the age of 25.

Women on social media

Engagement

There are a few things to consider when thinking about which platform your brand will be more visible on. 

Engagement on Instagram has been more public than on Snapchat. Your users can see your likes, comments, and views. If you have a public account, there is potential to be visible to people who don’t follow you as well. 

Your profile is open and accessible to all Instagram users. This means that all users can find your profile through mentions, tags, and hashtags. This is also excellent for finding User Generated Content – a popular Instagram marketing strategy.

In contrast, Snapchat keeps your numbers private. You’re the only one who can see your engagement. Your profile is also only accessible to the people that follow you, which can build more personal experiences for your audience. 

Instagram is, however, testing the removal of likes from their platform, which would make it function a little more like Snapchat. 

Part of engagement is having effective ways to measure the data on your social media. This is integrated into Instagram’s design. You can use Instagram Insights to measure the performance of your posts and it’s free as long as you have an Instagram account. Snapchat doesn’t have this analytics benefit unless you purchase ads. You have to use out-of-app analytics platforms.

So, when it comes to making your brand more visible and discoverable, Instagram has better engagement, profile access, and potential for UGC. 

Content

Instagram is killing it with different content types and features. You have different options when you want to share content on Instagram: 

Snapchat has Stories too, and ‘snaps’ that are like feed posts. You can share similar content on both platforms. The main difference is the look and the feel of the content on each platform. Instagram is all about the aesthetics: polished feeds, glamorous and stunning presets, and quality, high-resolution images. Snapchat leans towards more laidback, authentic content like Titktok’s interactive, fresh style. 

But, Instagram now incorporates more raw content through Reels. So, if you want a platform that can give you a better range of content, Instagram is the way to go!

Business Features

The Instagram Business account has so many amazing benefits for your business’ social media marketing. Their Business features have developed so much that tons of small businesses are growing and running on the platform using things like the shopping feature. Having a Business account makes your profile more visible and allows you to include contact details for your business. 

Features like IGTV, Reels, and Shopping tags even promote collaborations with social media influencers. Influencing is huge on the ‘Gram and businesses are making the most of it. 

Snapchat doesn’t really have features that are specific for online business. Tons of big-name corporations do use the platform to create authentic engagement by getting creative with the normal features. But Instagram is definitely tailoring their space for more profit-making

Ads

Both platforms offer ads to promote yourself. Instagram has ads to share on user feeds and stories, as well as promotion for your posts. Snapchat has snap ads, geofilters, and lenses. 

Taking photo with mobile phone for business social media

Final Thoughts on Snapchat vs Instagram

So, who wins the Instagram vs Snapchat battle? 

Although Snapchat is quite cool with funky and interactive features, Instagram is generally a must-have. Any business with a smashing social media strategy is using the big IG! But, ultimately it depends on what works for your brand and business. You could even decide to use both.

Before you decide which platform you should focus on, ask yourself this: 

  1. What are your social media goals? What do you want to achieve?
  2. Who is your audience? 
  3. What content suits you best? 

Knowing your audience and where they are is the key to a successful social media strategy.

Author

Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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