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You’ve heard of Instagram and Snapchat Stories, but is there a big difference between the two? At a glance, no! But we’re here to break down the two different apps in a little more detail!

Understanding Instagram and Snapchat Stories

For those of you who aren’t hip to the application world, both Instagram and Snapchat Stories are forms of ephemeral content. What’s ephemeral content? I’m glad you asked!

This type of content is typically pictures or videos that are only available for a short period of time, and then it disappears into the digital abyss!

Instagram and Snapchat, in general, are the most popular apps that use ephemeral content, but Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) also has a Stories feature.

The Similarities

Before we dive into the differences, let’s discuss the similarities between Instagram and Snapchat first.

With both apps, you can post pictures or videos to your Story for a set amount of time, normally 24 hours. Before posting the photos, you can add filters, emojis and even on-screen drawings. If you haven’t used any of the voice-changing filters for your Snapchat videos, you’re definitely missing out!

Once posted, you can see the number of views and who has looked at your Story. Your Story can be viewed publicly or privately based on your account settings. You can also send content individually to people who follow you. Pretty neat, right?

Although it seems like Instagram and Snapchat Stories are extremely similar, there are some pretty significant differences in who uses these apps and the purpose behind it.

The Differences

Although Instagram has been around since 2010, the Stories feature wasn’t introduced until October of 2016. Snapchat was initially released in September of 2011 and their Stories feature was launched only two years later in 2013.

One major difference between the two platforms is that with Snapchat, you must have another person’s username or phone number to be able to add them as a friend. With Instagram, you can simply do a search for someone’s profile and follow them, making it a lot easier to find someone.

However, with Instagram, you can make your account private, which forces users to request to follow you, giving you the final decision (just like accepting a friend request on Facebook).

Snapchat users tend to be younger overall compared to Instagram users, typically in Generation Z or the tail-end of millennials. Overall, though, Snapchat is continuing to grow every day. Who knows, your mom may be using Snapchat and you may not know it!

Another major difference is that Snapchat tends to be more spontaneous with posts. With Instagram, many users think about their image and what they are posting, normally being a little more cautious because it can be searched by anyone.

Did you know that 500 million users open Instagram every day? Of the 500 million, 300 million watch or use the Stories function. Snapchat does have a lower daily user count, coming in at 187 million.

Instagram does have the advantage of accessing the app from your desktop, but you can’t create any posts. You can, however, view the feeds and Stories feature.

Tips for Using Snapchat:

If your business wants to start using Snapchat Stories as another form of digital marketing, here are some tips that can help get you started:

  • Use the app regularly. Just like other forms of social media, you don’t want your audience to forget about your business. An easy way to do this is to do behind the scenes sneak peaks of your business and what’s new! This will help grow the loyalty of your followers, too! Don’t forget to respond to any questions your business receives over Snapchat, as well.
  • Create a geofilter. If you’ve ever used Snapchat at an event or restaurant, there will most likely be a geofilter you can use on your photos or videos. You can design and customize a geofilter for your business here.
  • Promote your Snapchat. People can’t follow you if they don’t know you’re using Snapchat, so make sure to promote it on your other digital marketing channels.

Tips for Using Instagram:

Not quite ready to use Snapchat Stories? No worries! Instagram Stories is a great option, too! Make sure to follow these tips:

  • Go live. Just like Facebook, you can go live on your Instagram Stories. This is a great opportunity to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA), give important updates or share some tips!
  • Flash sales. Reward your followers by doing the occasional flash sale of certain products or services. Don’t feel the need to go all out on every flash sale, but you can boost your profit and give your followers a great deal for paying attention to your Story!
  • Collaborations. If you work closely with another business or an influencer, you can do an “Instagram takeover.” This means the other business or person will temporarily share content on your Instagram Story. This is an excellent way to cross-promote content on each other’s Stories.

Bonus Tips

  • Remember, with either app you decide to use, don’t forget to keep your business’s brand in mind and stay consistent with what you’re doing on all your other social media channels.
  • Keep in mind that the apps release updates every so often (just like Instagram’s recent “accidental” update that had everyone losing their minds), but we’ll keep you up-to-date on any major releases.

Don’t be overwhelmed! Just pick up your phone and start making your own Stories!