Snapchat vs Instagram: A Story For The Ages

 In Blog, Instagram, Snapchat, Social Media

This week, Instagram rolled out its latest update. Previously, Instagram updated its format to make it clearer with a white background and changed its feed to show users more relevant content. So what is the new feature that everyone is talking about?

Instagram stories.

Let’s just think about this for a second. Sound familiar? The “new” feature actually comes about three years after Snapchat first introduced the concept. All across the world, blogs, forums, and even news outlets beg the question of if Instagram stole the idea from Snapchat. Well, simply put, yes. However, in today’s social media landscape, you have to be able to transform and continue to update your software. Otherwise you become outdated and lose your following.

Youth Influence:

Instagram has 400 million users who post 80 million Every day, the 100 million Snapchat users watch over 10 billion videos. According to Business Insider, Instagram reaches a wider age group, whereas Snapchat tends to be more popular with the younger demographic.

Truth be told, both platforms have a huge following with young adults. Instagram reaches 53 percent of all 18 to 29 year-olds. Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18-34 year olds, and 60 percent of all smartphone users from ages 13-34 use Snapchat. The two sites reach a large young audience, so with the constantly changing social media landscape, they need to adapt to stay relevant.

The Comparison:

Let’s face it. Instagram Stories look almost exactly like Snapchat stories. Even Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, said to Tech Crunch, “When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

Some say that imitation is the best form of flattery. Instagram must have really liked Snapchat’s story feature – let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Snap Stories? They allow users to stay connected to one another throughout the day. It focuses on the now, as opposed to permanence. Sometimes you want to share something just for a few seconds, as opposed to on your profile forever.

Here’s the breakdown between the two social media “Stories”:

Snapchat versus Instagram Stories

Yet, despite users throwing shade at Instagram for staying with the times, Instagram’s new feature comes in packing a punch. The app offers ease of use, combining two platforms into one. The stories feature allows users to use all of their favorite filters – so many to choose from! The writing tool offers three styles and an easier way to select a color. Overall, it is much more user friendly, especially for the older demographic who may not be on Snapchat.

Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories serve as an outlet for businesses to give users a behind-the-scenes look at their companies. You can use both; however, if you already have a following on Instagram, that may be your best bet.

So Why All Of The Drama?

Instagram did not take all of Snapchat’s features and put their name on it. Snapchat still remains the platform with animated lenses (puppy filter fans rejoice!) and Geofilters. The only thing that changed is the fact that you can now use the Story feature on Instagram too.

All of the hoopla surrounding Instagram’s newest feature is reminiscent of the drama of the hashtag. Twitter was the first adopter of the hashtag in 2007 – essentially creating the popular feature. It served as a way to connect all of its users and create trending topics. However, six years later, Facebook jumped on the bandwagon and adopted hashtags. Their use of the hashtag created an out roar amongst users, saying that Facebook ripped off Twitter.  The storm shortly blew over, and people accepted the fact that Facebook would incorporate a new feature.

All social media platforms borrow from one another. LinkedIn adopted the Newsfeed like Facebook. Facebook took the hashtag from Twitter. Snapchat even recently added the feature “Memories” to create a greater sense of permanence on the app. The social media landscape allows for collaboration and experimentation – why not adjust to make your app even more useful?


What are your thoughts on the new Instagram feature?  Let us know in the comments below!

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