Why use Instagram stories when you have been using Snapchat stories since 2011? On August 2, Instagram shocked all social media users by creating a feature called “stories” which ultimately mimicked the concept of Snapchat stories.  It seemed as if Instagram, with its 500 million monthly active users, was trying to steal some of Snapchat’s 30 million active users. Wishbone app polled asking users Snapchat or Instagram? More than 30,00 users participated and Snapchat was the clear winner.

IMG_6814.pngScreenshot courtesy of Wishbone

In the current age of social media, we can choose what content we want to provide to each social media platform. Facebook is to share multiple photos with my thousands of friends and family. Instagram is a public platform were I post my favorite pictures but only one at a time, every now and then. Snapchat is only for my close friends and pictures are posted as often as I feel necessary. If I see a pretty building in Prague, so will my 200 Snapchat friends. This is not the case for Instagram or Facebook. So the question becomes when is it appropriate to post a Instagram story and should you even post an Instagram story if the same content is already being shown on Snapchat? It can become repetitive.

In class we learned nothing on social media is really private. The one time I posted an Instagram story it was seen by over 5,600 people but when I posted the same story on Snapchat it only got 184 views and I knew every single person that viewed it.  Anything you put on Snapchat or Instagram stories can be screenshot and sent to anyone. A perk of snapchat is that it shows you who has taken a screenshot and, if you are really concerned, you can text the person and ask why. Most people do not have random people on Snapchat. They only have their close friends. This is not the case with Instagram. Instagram is a more public platform than Snapchat.

Both Instagram and Snapchat offer the similar features which include posting a picture or 10 second video on your “story” that will last 24 hours. These features give you “live updates” of what’s going on in a person’s life in real time. It gives you the option to add your location, and draw or write or put a filter on the video or picture. However, Snapchat still has one thing Instagram stories does not – lenses that can change your face, your voice and your scenery. You want to be a dog? Snapchat can detect your face and in seconds you are a dog. You want to not only be a bee but sound like one? Snapchat’s got you covered. This feature alone helps Snapchat surpass Instagram stories. Caitlin Rulien from the Search Engine Journal explained, “Filters on Snapchat definitely shut down the standard Instagram filters offered for Stories. Not only does Snapchat offer a few sepia/black-and-white options, but also Selfie Lenses (make yourself a bearded Viking!) and World Lenses (make clouds vomit!).”

Although Instagram may surpass Snapchat based on amount of users, Snapchat is still relevant months after Instagram created Instagram stories. In a study created by Business Insider, it shows that “Snapchat users still spend more minutes each day on the app than people spend on Instagram and that trend doesn’t appear to have been directly impacted after the Stories launch.”


Image courtesy of Business Insider from data gather by SensorTower

I personally think Beyoncé is the perfect example of the debate between Instagram and Snapchat stories. Beyoncé’s Instagram has over 95.8 million followers. When she makes an Instagram story it is usually to promote her tour or clothing line and is seen by the masses. It is the perfect marketing tool because it reaches millions of people and is not permanently on her Instagram profile. Recently, the public found out that Beyoncé has a Snapchat. (She posted a picture with the deer filter that only Snapchat provides on Instagram.) Fans do not know Beyoncé’s Snapchat and it is private. Anyone can see her Instagram story but not everyone can see her Snapchat story and, as a user, you are in the same position as Beyoncé. According to the Huffington Post,  the verdict is clear and “despite this major jab at Snapchat, Instagram has not yet stolen its audience away with the release of ‘Stories.’ Time will tell if dedicated Snapchatters begin to trickle over to the dark side”. However, when it comes down to it, where else can you post a picture with your face as a cloud vomiting rainbows other than Snapchat?

Image courtesy of pixabay





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