Network Marketing

The War on Quick Photo Shares: Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

By now, most social users have heard about, or are actively using Instagram Stories, Snapchat, or both.  There are many differing views on these apps, which is superior, preferred and which lead to the best business Return on Investment (ROI).   So, is the war on quick photo share apps like Instagram Stories and Snapchat from the perspective, the use, the businesses that use them, or the actual apps?  The only way to determine the winner is to break it down by each perspective.

User’s Perspective

BL1 Insta

Instagram’s newly added Instagram Stories allows you share as much as you want throughout the day. The benefit is that these photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.  You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed indicated by a colorful ring around their profile photo.  To view someone’s story, you simply tap on their profile photo, at your own pace.

BL 1 Snap    BL1 Casper

Snapchat, the famous little white ghost is not to be confused with Capser, the Friendly Ghost.  In fact, Snapchat typically brings fear and worry to parents due to the fact that this app allows users to capture videos and pictures that self-destruct between 1 and 10 seconds.  While Snapchat has a “story” feature, my 13 yr old tells me it is not cool to use this feature and “no one uses it”.  Snapchat gets a bad rap by parents who feel they have less control and visibility into their kid’s photos and what content they are sharing with each other.

Business’s Perspective

How exactly is a business to choose between Instagram Stories & Snapchat?  The answer lies in their target audience.

Once businesses identify and plan how they will attract consumers and illicit reactions (aka: groundswell), they can then choose between Instagram Stories and Snapchat.  Li & Bernoff share a 4-step planning process to build this groundswell; People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology.  This process, along with their work on Social Technographic Profiles, can assist businesses in determining which of these platforms wins the war (and media budget).

The Social Technographic Profile indicates that over 50% of Alpha Moms are consumers when interacting socially and they tend to prefer consumer content greater than online adult consumers in the USA.  If your business is Networking Marketing (Isagenix, Young Living Essential Oils, etc) then your vote would be Instagram Stories as there is a larger portion of these companies targeting the Alpha-Mom.  This is because the app allows for these Mom’s to be spectators (watch videos, read ratings, read reviews) which is their preference of social interaction.

The Social Technographic Profile also indicates that Young Adults (18-27) are more likely to be Joiners who maintains and visit social sites such as Snapchat.   Gotter shares that 37% of Snapchat users fall in the 8-24 year old category, with 71% of its users being under the age of 25.  So, if your business target is under age 25, Snapchat could win your vote as a social advertising platform.

App’s Perspective

According to Page, Facebook paid an astounding $1 billion in 2012 to acquire Instagram. The Instagram acquisition let investors know that Facebook understood where the market was headed and was prepared to pay money to stay relevant to its clientele.

Facebook making the purchase of Instagram was key in the on-going battle again Snapchat.  Dunn captures the rocketing daily users of Instagram Stories to outshine Snapchat.

BL1 graph

On the other hand, Snapchat’s financial performance, according to Greenwood is considered substandard.  Apart from the criticism, Snapchat has 158 million users daily create 2.5 billion of its temporary photos and videos. Wall Street investment expert are opining that Snap started 2017 marvelously and it is really going public fast.

An estimated 200 million monthly active users send 700 million photos or videos each day, with approximately 500 million views per day (this study is different than Snapchat’s which said there are 8+ billion video views a day). Gotter also highlights a few key stats on Snapchat such as 100 million daily active users, reaches 11% of the US’s entire digital population and Snapchat has more users than Twitter.

Who do you think is the winner of the war? Leave a comment on which platform earns your vote and why!  



12 thoughts on “The War on Quick Photo Shares: Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat”

  1. I just may be, one of very few, who do not use either app. I have strong opinions about an app that allows for photos to disappear, nothing good can come of that. :-/
    Based on your information, I would think Instagram is the winner.
    Great information & nice shout out to Casper!!!


  2. I just started using Snapchat in February and to be honest have no idea how to use it…have never been a fan of instagram, so again I do not know much about either app. I have started snapping my grandson. (who is 3) and he will take pictures with me and has his own (moms old phone) snapchat (so he thinks) so we send pictures back and forth. He takes some pretty good pictures for 3. However with the information that you have provided I would have to choose Snapchat would be the winner, due to the fact that it has been around longer and has more of a following. However, instagram may make a miraculous comeback in the following years.


  3. I use both Snapchat and Instagram, but have never used the Instagram story feature. I tend to utilize Snapchat more between friends, especially long distant friends. When it comes to Instagram, I often get told I don’t post enough! But I guess that’s not a bad thing. I don’t like the idea that photos disappear. Especially with teenagers, I feel as if nothing good could come out of this. It can be an innocent app but there are definitely some people who ruin things for others. Based on statistics and your blog, it’s clear that Instagram would be the winner. But personally, I still prefer Snapchat!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Stacey,

    Great post!
    I really enjoyed reading your first blog post and I agree with all others. I too am leery of sites that can cause things to disappear. I have never used snapchat and I don’t know what it looks like, but I am enlightened by your post. I have used Instagram, but I’ve never used the stories feature. I would call Instagram the winner, but that would be partial given the fact that I’ve never used the other site. Once again, great post.

    Eunice O.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Stacey,

    Wonderful first post! I use both platforms. I use Snapchat and Instagram for personal use and use Instagram for business for one of my clients. I have to agree with the sentiment that anything that allows photos to disappear could be sketchy. As a rule of thumb, I don’t send anything that I wouldn’t want the world to see on any form of social media. That being said, I do not have kids, and can only imagine how some teens might use the app.

    When it comes to using the apps, I definitely use Snapchat more. Although, I think it is due to the fact that when I see the notification someone has sent me a snap I am inclined to open it, opposed to Instagram, where I just go on it when I have time. I also like how Snapchat has more original content than Instagram. Most of my friends on Facebook have their Instagram accounts and Facebook accounts linked, so the photos I see on Facebook, when I go on Instagram I see the same ones. Kind of annoying.

    When I started writing this I didn’t have a clear winner in mind…but I have talked myself into Snapchat!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Stacey!

    I really enjoyed reading your blog! My vote is for ——— , it just disappeared! : ) From a business prospective I have seen some cool campaigns that used Snapchat to create a mystery scavenger hunt, or reveal a new promotion to loyal customers. I think when used correctly Snapchat can offer an advantage over other social platforms! I look forward to reading your next post!

    Liked by 1 person

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