July 28, 2017
It really is a constant battle between Instagram and Snapchat, but maybe, just maybe, it’s finally a little clearer which Stories your brand should stick with….for now!
Firstly, Snapchat’s growth has slowed since Instagram Stories launched last August. There’s also been a 15 to 40% drop in the number of people viewing Snapchat stories since then. Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram users are spending 50% more time watching videos and are creating four times as many videos than they did last year.
Also, Instagram Stories is widening its lead over Snapchat and rolling out new features to keep everyone on the video bandwagon. Instagram Stories now has 250 million daily active users, up from 200 million in April, while Snapchat is still stuck at 166 million.
“From new creative tools to location stories, we’ve been focused on making it easier to share any moment and uncover stories from the accounts and interests that matter most to you.” Instagram said in a recent interview. “As a result, we are continuing to see strong growth both in the U.S. and internationally.”
While Snap is struggling to stay afloat with innovative updates to its app, Instagram has the support of Facebook’s technology, resources, and creativity by tapping into what Facebook has already developed.
Instagram lets companies build more effective ads by posting photos or videos on not just the company’s page, but by using the Story feature to reach a broader audience. It also lets users follow all of their favourite people, things, and brands in one place, as well as giving them the option to discover new ones. Instagram Stories are ultimately more brand-friendly for organic content. Brands can grow followers to reach an audience more easily as well as organically.
Snapchat stories used to be fun to watch, but now they’re often filled with adverts or clickbait from the likes of Vice and Daily Mail. These ads drive users mad and interrupt the seamless ability to click through their mate’s two-minute long story from last night’s chicken shop shenanigans.
Instagram on the other hand, has innovated Snap’s fundamental ideas and perfected them faster than Snapchat. Instead of making viewers watch a story in sequence, Instagram allows you to skip forward, go back or tap either side of the screen. You can also tap and hold to freeze a frame and swipe to go in-between stories. Instagram added live streaming, boomerang, hands-free, stickers, filters and new face filters. It allows you to insert links to other profiles within Stories content, which can be great for brand collaboration, and to add searchable location stickers, which can help to improve discovery.
You can also link to external websites; though access to the feature is fairly limited (only available to verified profiles and business profiles with more than 10k followers). Alternatively, you can tag your friends directly in the photo or video within the story feature.
Instagram is bigger. A lot bigger in most respects.
As mentioned before, Snap has 166 million daily users. By comparison, Instagram has 700 million total users, with more than 250 million now using Stories every day.
In pure numbers and reach, Instagram is a better option, particularly if your key goal is raising brand awareness.
One key differentiator is discovery. Instagram has more search options available, making it easier to find relevant users – and importantly for marketing purposes, businesses to follow.
Why invest in an ad that disappears after 24 hours you say? No matter what your brand’s goals and budgets, the popularity of Stories is undeniable and suggests that brands need to kick off a strategy around this new format. Now is the perfect time for brands to make a mark with fun and creative Stories. Go wild!