Snapchat Stories vs Instagram Stories. What’s the Difference?

Ever wondered what the difference was between Snapchat stories and Instagram stories and the implications of each? Wonder no more, check out this sweet infographic and the explanation of it:

Snapchat vs Instagram Stories

Now I know what you’re thinking: “sweet infographic comparing Insta to Snapchat, but why?” Great question, for starters, Instagram rolled out the new feature of adding 10 second stories that can be pictures or a compilation of 10 second videos, sounds familiar right? But there is a reason to continue to use both, and that’s exactly why I am writing this article. Tapping into the power of both can not only go a long way for your likes and followers personally, but also for your business. Let’s check it out:


Odds are, this will be a very familiar feature list if you’re already a Snapchat user. However this is no accident, there is a simple reason for this, why complicate the world with something different when they already know how to use the layout of Snapchat. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. Here’s the key features:

  • 10 second stories that disappear after 24 hours
  • A camera interface that lets you draw and add stickers
  • Friend stories
  • Private accounts and public accounts

Of course Instagram and Snapchat can’t be without their differences. A duplicate copy could lead to very messy legal fights. Here’s a few notable differences:

  • Instagram allows you to fast forward AND rewind, Snapchat only allows fast forward. Snapchat users need to watch stories again in order to view content again
  • Snapchat has intelligent filters that allow you to change your appearance by mapping your face. Instagram only allows users to draw and add stickers to content.
  • Snapchat has more customizable features like geofiltering your location ans adjusting the speed of your videos.

Facebook (Instagram’s parent company), has purchased an app called Masquerade which allows you to 3D map filters to your face just like snapchat, it is speculated that soon Instagram will bring this technology over allowing you to map fun filters to your face, and post it right away to your Instagram story as a way of competing with Snapchat. I suppose time will tell.

Users and Engagement Data

Despite both apps having all these super cool features, which one are people sharing more content from and why? The answer in terms of stories: Snapchat. Snapchat has been at this game far longer than Instagram has. Instagram has done an admirable job trying to keep up but unfortunately, the entire of premise of Snapchat’s business is “users sharing their lives through video in an easy to use way.” From the perspective of a Calgary mobile app developer, it can be really difficult for any business to compete with another popular app at their “own game,” so we watch with curiosity to see what becomes of the battle for video supremacy from these two social media superpowers. Anyway, let’s check out some of that data:

  • Although very early to tell, the early trend is that more people are creating videos with Snapchat than Instagram. This is because Snapchat has been around for so much longer, and creating video stories is the core focus of Snapchat.
  • Between 2013 and 2015 the number of photos shared on Instagram dropped substantially. Despite having 500 million monthly users, sharing has still declined.
  • Snapchat has 150 million users daily and has a far more dedicated millennial user base, using Snapchat on average 25-30 minutes a day.
  •  For Instagram, the average daily user amount is about 300 million people using the app for 21 minutes on average.

Interesting statistics, it seems that the user base of Instagram is substantially larger. However the users of Snapchat use the app far more frequently and loyally in a day. I will be the first to say that as a 22 year old male (demographic research) I am far more likely to check my Snapchat than I am my Instagram. The reason for this is easy: I feel way more connected to my friends and the people I follow through a video/photo montage of them than just one picture.

Although pictures are great, videos make me feel like I’m right there with them, and although Instagram does allow you to upload videos, I still prefer Snapchat since it’s specialty is video. You don’t have to agree with that which is fine, but as we can see from these user statistics, I know I’m not alone.

The Nike Example

So how can we use both to benefit your business? Well as you can see on the infographic, Nike uses both forms of social media and found more success on one than the other:

  • Nike Snapchat Story view count: 66,000 views
  • Nike Instagram Story view count: 800,000

So what can we conclude from this?

The Bottom Line

So if both forms of social media have this exact same feature of sharing a story, Instagram has the user base, and Snapchat has the devoted users and features, then the solution is simple: drive traffic from one to the other.

Stay with me here..

The smartest thing Instagram has done is copy the features of Snapchat, and because Instagram has a far greater user base, it is incredibly easy to post to both your Snapchat story and Instagram story inviting users from each to come follow one or the other’s account. It’s a simple funneling process, if you can motivate your massive Instagram user base to follow you on Snapchat, you will likely gain very loyal and supportive followers, the American Record Producer DJ Khaled has tapped into the power of Snapchat and has attracted an incredible number of dedicated followers to his Snapchat which of course does nothing but favors for his music career.

The same goes for Snapchat, if you are wanting to funnel people over to your Instagram account, you can let your users know via Snapchat story. If your users like you, they will have no problem giving you a follow on Instagram for some unique content.

A Final Thought

If you can, keep both your Instagram and Snapchat going, it gives users more avenues to get to know your app and your company. If you can only keep Instagram or Snapchat going for the sake of time then make sure you are making an effort to funnel your user base over to a different form of social media before shutting your Instagram or Snapchat down for good.

As a Calgary mobile app developer, we believe it’s important to have a plan to get the word out on your app after development. If you are wanting to get started on your own app journey, or need some advice on how to get your app marketing off the ground visit the Contact page. Our team would love to sit down with you and help you come up with a plan for success.