Snapchat vs. Instagram who’s winning the Stories 2.0
When Instagram released Stories in August 2016, many rolled their eyes at the blatant copying of Snapchat. Since that time, however, Instagram has made Stories its own.On my personal feeds alone, more and more friends and family are switching from Snapchat to Instagram - and while I am slowly transitioning apps myself, I see plenty of opportunities for brands to do the same.
The image-based platform has seen a significant evolution in the past year, with the addition of Stories, live-streaming and a feed algorithm to uncover the most relevant content. Moreover, for businesses specifically, Instagram has also grown, adding business-specific profiles, improved adoptions and, coming soon, shopping tags, which could be huge.
So how have users responded to all this change, which many thought could be moving too far from the platform’s more simplistic, visual-focused roots? The app has grown at its fastest ever rate, now with 600 million monthly active users, 400 million of them logging on every day.
Moreover, this week, Instagram has revealed some new stats on their ad business, announcing that the platform now has 8 million active business profiles, and a million monthly active advertisers.
Here are a few musings about the platforms.
Insights Instagram allows you to know who your followers are.
It is possible that your brand is producing great Snapchat content, but it does not matter if nobody sees it. The barrier of entry for users to follow a brand on Snapchat is much higher than it is on Instagram.
Instagram Stories already has over 150 million users, and 70% of Instagrammers follow a business, underlining the potential in this regard. Also, 60% of Instagram users have indicated that they learn about products and services via the app.
Features cool options.
It is true that Instagram has mimicked many of Snapchat’s storytelling features, but it has also added its own spin, with additional capabilities (my favorite is Boomerang).
In addition to the popular looping video generator, Instagram allows brands and users to tag other profiles in a Story. This is a great feature if your brand works with influencers.
Instagram also allows you to swipe up from a Story to load a website of your choice. Utilize this feature if you want to showcase a product, encourage orders, and more.
Money Who doesn't love to find savings!
While posting an Instagram Story to your brand’s page is free, the platform is also rolling out in-story ad units. These ads are not yet available to all businesses, but we’re anxiously awaiting the release - you can see samples of the feed - we stumbled on a cool Airbnb ad recently, or SPG are already getting transactional clicks.
Instagram Stories ads are full-screen, which will ensure they generate maximum impact. They're currently being tested with 30+ clients around the world, including Capital One, Buick, Maybelline New York, Nike, Yoox, Netflix, and Qantas.
You also get more bang for your buck with Instagram Stories compared to Snapchat. Instagram utilizes the same targeting capabilities as Facebook, so your brand can take advantage of the custom audiences that are already set up. Furthermore, the reporting tools will be similar to what your brand is familiar with on Facebook and Instagram.
According to TechCrunch, “Instagram will also provide business accounts with analytics on the reach, impressions, replies and exits of their Stories. They will be able to check analytics on their Stories through the Insights button on their profiles.”
Bottom line, know who your consumer or audience is. Many times if brands forget whom they are targeting, if you demographic is an LOHAS consumer, they may not be on Snapchat.
One thing is for sure, the content is endless, and the ability to engage in visual storytelling has become more accessible to more brands and the more organic, the better.