Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat: the showdown

So how about that Instagram update?! Yesterday, Instagram rolled out with stories, a pretty obvious Snapchat rip-off.  And honestly, Snapchat does it pretty darn well, so clearly this was never going to actually be useful, and the hardcore Snapchat users would NEVER... ever... cons..i..der...

Okay... Maybe there's a chance Instagram Stories is far "doper" than we thought. I mean it has some very obvious strengths, and I gotta say... I'm not immediately hating it. Which I sort of thought I would. So while it's only day two of this new update, I thought I'd do a quick comparison on the two platforms.


 Instagram Stories versus Snapchat - a showdown. © Silver Feather Studios, Graham, NC Branding & Marketing Consultant

round 1: convenience

In a typical day, I would have to tap open about 5 different apps to be "caught up" on all of social media. Sure, there are apps like Hootsuite that combine a bunch, but still, you catch my drift. And typically there are apps that get neglected. But with stories, it's combining two apps into one, which allows me to do both behind the scenes and post images within one awesome platform. That's... not something to be sad about. At all.

Winner: Instagram!


round 2: fun lenses & filters

When it comes to silly lenses, and funny filters, Snapchat is the bomb diggety. I mean where else can I rap Hamilton lyrics in a chipmunk voice, or take gorgeous selfies of myself with flawless cat eyes? Instagram put in some pretty filters, but none of them beat the one that Snapchat has that makes me look great with or without makeup! The missing randomness and uniqueness from Instagram Stories  though makes Snapchat a clear winner.

winner: snapchat (for now)


round 3: wide audience

Okay, this is where my business brain really kicks in. I have 1000 followers on Instagram. I idea how many people are following me on Snapchat. While that's something I love about it (it's the only platform where it's not a complete numbers game if you don't want it to be), the truth is having an already established base to speak to makes it a lot easier to get the most out of behind the scenes videos and personal anecdotes. I don't have to send people to another platform to keep up with me, or promote that account. Now... it's sort of all together in one. I can continue improving the process of attracting the RIGHT followers on IG. PLUS everyone is on Instagram... not everyone is on Snapchat. It does have a pretty solid age group who uses it, and that could be limiting for certain businesses.

winner: instagram!


round 4: the perfection factor

This is something that I thought of right away - Instagram has moved us into needing these beautifully curated feeds, something we all sort of lament over and think about way too much. So Instagram stories can moves us into two different directions - either we can be more random and personal on our stories while maintaining perfect feeds... or we'll feel the need to be just as perfect AS our feeds, which doesn't really help the overwhelming social media stigma that already exists. In this category snap chat wins, by making you feel less pressure to be perfect, and more fun in being silly and authentic.

winner: Snapchat!


round five: back to the basics

when Instagram stopped letting things go chronologically a few weeks back, I didn't like it. I knew i was missing posts, and I missed being able to know exactly where i left off. But now with stories... it sort of nullifies that concern. Stories can be an all day thing without inundating someone's feed. It's a more current and modern way of what Instagram originally was - instant photographs. So it's letting us go back to the basics of this platform in a new and improved way. HOWEVER... this was always the basics for Snapchat. It was always the reason you used it, and with the ability to directly connect  and snap with just one person (something Instagram hasn't added yet), it had some interesting ways to promote you, your business, and your brand. This one feels like a toss-up only because Snapchat was already doing this and really Instagram is just catching up.

winner: tie...

 Instagram Stories versus Snapchat - a showdown. © Silver Feather Studios, Graham, NC Branding & Marketing Consultant


Well that was EXTREMELY unhelpful! That's two to both sides and one tie. Seems like the absolute best way to figure it out is to test it out! I'm going to give Instagram Stories a try, because I'm sort of fascinated with it right now. It doesn't mean I'll be giving up Snapchat just yet - there are a lot of features I still love about it. But Instagram might add those things before long and completely wipe out the need for Snapchat, so I'm riding the train just in case.

What are your thoughts? Which one do you prefer the most? Instagram? Snapchat? Why? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below - i suspect another showdown in the future!

Ariana Watts

Silver Feather Studios, Burlington, NC, 27217, United States