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The Ultimate Instagram vs. Snapchat Debate

Business Article
The Ultimate Instagram Vs  Snapchat Debate

They say copying is the best form of flattery, right? If so, Snapchat should feel on top of the world with the roll out of Instagram’s new Stories feature.

If you haven’t seen or heard of it yet, you may be living under a rock, but that’s another problem. It’s basically a new option where Instagram users can take pictures and videos, edit them and post to a personal “story” where it’ll stay for 24 hours and then disintegrate.

Sound familiar? That’s because it already exists - It’s called Snapchat.

Even Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “[Snapchat] deserves all the credit. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it,” in his interview with TechCrunch.

Why the decision to add this option to an already-popular platform?

The hope of introducing Stories is to increase the daily usage of the app by giving users the freedom to share photos and videos without the pressure of them being on a user’s profile for the long haul. So instead of a perfectly lighted photo of a cappuccino, Moleskine and pen, users can post fun day-to-day snapshots to socialize with and entertain followers.

It’s interesting that the goal is to get more user activity when Instagram already has double the amount of daily active users than Snapchat with 300 million.

Does that mean Instagram has an even bigger leg up on the competition now?

Let’s break down the things that make Instagram something Snapchat should be worried about.

  • Instagram has more options of what users can draw with - multiple color palettes and pens
  • Users already have a following that they’ve built on Instagram, instead of having to build a new audience on a different platform
  • You can pause Instagram Stories by holding on the screen, as opposed to the ongoing flow of Snapchat
  • Instagram Stories appear on the home screen of the interface and are sorted by who you interact with most, instead of when content is chronologically posted

Snapchat still reigns...for now.

There are still some things that Instagram will need to change in order to take over the originator of content that self-destructs.

  • Filters - there are filters, but nothing compared to the most recent geofilters and interactive overlays now available on Snapchat
  • Security - anyone that follows you on Instagram can see your Story. So if it’s public, as most are, that means anyone can see your day-to-day moves. Instagram has an option where you can block your story from certain people, but unless you want to block each story you post from every rando, stalker, ex and parent, you’re out of luck.
  • Memories - there isn’t an option to add old posts like Snapchat Memories allows you to do with a white border
  • Saved Stories - there’s no function to save your whole story to your phone, although you can post individual posts to your permanent Instagram profile

What about from a business perspective?

It’s nice for brands that already have a large following on Instagram - you already have consumers eating out of the palm of your hands. Not to mention the ease of searching desired brands, instead of having to know the exact username on Snapchat.

Many brands have already jumped on the Stories bandwagon since its launch less than a week ago. And they’ve already received great results. Nike reports that it was able to generate 800,000 views in 24 hours on an Instagram story, whereas its most popular video on Snapchat only raked in 66,000 views.

The fact that the stories disappear after 24 hours also leaves much room for experimentation. If you post a video that doesn’t get much engagement, you’ll know not to do it again without hurting your brand image or reputation.

All in all, there are still a few kinks to work out, but they are probably already in development as we speak. The Facebook Empire (who acquired Instagram in 2012) continues to prosper.

We’re already getting in on the action - Check out our Instagram Stories @xdesigninc and get in touch with us to be caught up to speed on all things social media.

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