Last month, Instagram made a move into Snapchat’s territory. And not in a very subtle way.

Social media lit up with rumblings of disapproval at first, but a few weeks in, Instagram Stories are going strong. Now brands need to evaluate both similar platforms and decide which is right. (Or go all in and use both.)

Instagram vs Snapchat

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories are similar to Snapchat in that you can take a video or picture and post it to your profile for your friends to view for the next 24 hours. They both have a few filters to choose from, markers to doodle with, and emojis to add. They both also give you the ability to track the number of people watching your videos.

Anyone who follows you on Instagram will be able to see your story on their feed. Even those who don’t follow you can see your Story if you aren’t private by clicking on your Instagram profile picture on your page.

See Stories at the top of your Instagram feed.

See Stories at the top of your Instagram feed.

Will Instagram replace Snapchat?

While the features and the concept are similar, the platforms make them different.

One big difference is Snapchat’s face detection filters that make it more fun to take selfies – turning you into a dog, warping your face, and even changing your voice.

Only on Snapchat can you turn yourself into a cluster of grapes.

Only on Snapchat can you turn yourself into a cluster of grapes.

Instagram stories give you the ability to upload photos and videos from your camera roll if they were taken within the last 24 hours, unlike Snapchat that requires you to use third party apps to upload from your camera roll.

Instagram also gives you access to your established fan base. It’s easier to find friends and brands on Instagram than it is on Snapchat. With Instagram being around much longer, more often than not users have more fans and friends on Instagram. Not to mention that Instagram is used by a larger demographic than Snapchat, whose audience are largely millennials.

You can still post cat photos on Instagram Stories.

You can still post cat photos on Instagram Stories.

One more big benefit of Instagram Stories that we may see soon? Greater analytics. Snapchat has been criticized for its limited data for brands and advertisers. With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, we’re sure to see a robust reporting feature in the near future.

Which should your company use?

With the creation of Instagram Stories, you might be wondering whether you should stick to Snapchat or abandon it altogether.

So which should you choose?

Instagram Stories is here to stay, so if your brand is already active on Instagram, you need to start building your Instagram Stories strategy. It’s easier to upload to Instagram than Snapchat, and in time the analytics will prove to be more valuable than what you’ll get out of Snapchat.

With that said, if you already have a good following on Snapchat, don’t quit.

Rethink how you use that platform vs Instagram. Study and learn how your audiences differ between the two. What are people watching? When do you see your views drop off? Instagram has always been the curated, thought out platform, while Snapchat existed as the spontaneous little brother. Consider the direction you want to take on each.

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