Snapchat vs. Instagram

October 31, 2017

Snapchat vs. Instagram

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Olivia Noli

Olivia Noli is the marketing intern at Nuvi.

Latest posts by Olivia Noli (see all)

Social Media: it’s here to stay. And if you’re not on it, you’re missing out. Social media is essential if you want to see any kind of business growth with consumers. As a disclaimer, Facebook is great because it essentially works as a second website, but Instagram and Snapchat are in a completely different league. They open up a world of opportunities for new content and reaching new consumers. Both have specific features that work well for marketers in any business. Which should you use, though?


Snapchat has only been around since September of 2011 and currently has 173 million daily users. It began as a simple picture message app that sent images for a limited time. It has expanded to sending messages with the pictures, or just messages sans image, posting “stories” that last for 24 hours, and a “pay” feature. One of the best features for marketers, however, is the map feature. You can see where people are and if you want, you can “add from nearby” in order to target new followers who are close to your location. Following this location theme, Snapchat added a geo feature to use in stories so that people can show their location on their stories. That way, their followers are exposed to your location. Snapchat has also added a new feature that allows people to click on geofilters in order to learn more about the location. By creating your own geofilter, you can reach more people wanting to know about your business. Aside from using the geo feature, Snapchat stories are a pioneer marketing effort. By keeping your followers updated on your frequent activity, you can keep your brand relevant to your customers.


I’ve personally focused a lot on Instagram in my blogs. Instagram began in October of 2010. It has 500 million daily users. This is beneficial since it opens the opportunity to reach more potential customers. Mostly, I personally prefer Instagram to any other social media and I feel it has more capabilities. Instagram obviously has the key feature of posting images and videos with captions that never expire, unlike Snapchat.  It also has “stories,” which to be fair, was copied from Snapchat. While at first there was some hesitation in using stories since people associated it so much with Snapchat, Instagram stories have flourished into a widely used tool by influencers and businesses to promote themselves. Instagram also then developed the live story feature, which has opened even more doors to engagement with followers. Unlike Snapchat, there is no pay feature and the geo features have fewer options (you can add a location to a post, but it doesn’t have the fancy filter or “nearby” option). The limited geo feature is obviously a downside for marketers, however, the pay feature has little marketing value and therefore unnecessary in this context. Instagram’s many benefits, however, draw 327 million more followers than Snapchat.

 Snapchat vs. Instagram

So which one is best? We think Instagram, and we’re not alone. According to a study by Mediakix, influencers are using Snapchat stories even less in just the past 6 months. Since stories are essentially the only tool for marketers on Snapchat, this isn’t surprising.

Following this data, it’s obvious what platform influencers prefer. So if you want to work with an influencer, you’ll need to work on their preferred platform. Take FashionNova, for example. They have partnered with several influencers, similar to Matt Cutschall and Amanda Cerny, who create comedy skits for Instagram. Their skits are at least a minute long, which makes them more suited for Instagram’s posting platform. Several of these influencers post videos featuring FashionNova jeans, so FashionNova has an equally prominent Instagram account with nine million followers. They have a great bio with a link to their website, which is essential to social media marketing, and impossible on Snapchat.

I’m not saying you should pick one or the other. Snapchat can reach all the people who prefer that platform, and you have opportunities with the geo features that you don’t have on Instagram. It’s just important to realize where most of your efforts should go.

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