Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat: What Businesses Prefer
Snapchat grew from a platform for teens to send goofy pictures into a viable social channel for businesses to engage with followers. The explosive growth seemed almost too hard to believe.
Now, Instagram appears to be stealing Snapchat’s thunder, bringing growth to a halt. When Instagram released Instagram Stories, many saw it as Facebook’s way to compete with Snapchat, which it has done several times before. Instagram now has Stories, face filters, and disappearing messages, all of which Snapchat had first. Currently, it seems the platforms go back and forth releasing copycat features.
In only eight months, Instagram has surpassed Snapchat in number of active users. How did Instagram do it? Here’s a closer look at the current state of ephemeral messaging, and why users prefer Instagram over Snapchat.
Why Businesses Prefer Instagram
If you haven’t built up a Snapchat presence, Insta Stories makes sense. As a business, the fewer social channels you have to monitor, the better. Many businesses are still learning Snapchat, but why bother to learn another social platform if you don’t have to? If you already have a large following on Instagram, this may be a better option for your business.
Does your business partner with influencers? Then Instagram may be the better platform because of tagging. Influencers can tag the brand they are eating, wearing, etc., in the Story, making it easy to click and navigate to your profile. Snapchat doesn’t have a way to tag within Stories. Insta Stories presents new opportunities for your brand to develop creative content with influencers.
Instagram was the first of the two platforms to let accounts include links in Story posts. This was huge, as marketers complained about the lack of external linking on both platforms. Before this addition, clickable links were only located in Instagram bios. Snapchat added links to Stories after Instagram, but prior to that, there were no external links on Snapchat.
Instagram’s release of this feature made it much easier for businesses to drive traffic and sales from the app, and it’s free! Instagram first limited the feature to verified accounts. Now, it is available to business accounts, but they must have at least 10,000 followers. The introduction of the link in Stories caused many businesses to shift their focus back to Instagram.
So why do businesses seem to prefer Instagram? Simply put, Instagram continues to develop features that address the problems that Snapchat was too slow to solve for businesses.
When Snapchat Still Makes Sense for Businesses
While Instagram has its pros there are reasons for businesses to continue to use Snapchat. If you’ve built up an engaged following on Snapchat, there’s no reason to abandon that audience. Continue to develop creative content for your followers. After all, organic social media isn’t just about sales. Engagement still matters.
Snapchat’s vertical Stories feed is more user-friendly than Instagram’s. On Instagram, users have to scroll horizontally to view select Stories. While finding actual accounts is hard on Snapchat, your followers can find your content with less difficulty.
One of the biggest reasons to stay on Snapchat is accessibility to the link feature. Snapchat released a link feature similar to Instagram’s, but the feature is available to all users. That means any account, regardless of following, has the ability to use this feature. Because Instagram’s feature is only available to business accounts with 10,000 followers or more, small businesses that have a following on Snapchat can use this feature to drive traffic.
While very similar, Instagram and Snapchat each have their benefits. Your current social following and level of comfort will influence which platform your business uses. Most importantly, listen to your customers. Where are they? That should be the biggest factor in determining if you are Team Snapchat or Team Instagram, or both.