Just when we were getting used to going live on Facebook and playing around with new geo-filter releases on Snapchat, Instagram came along and changed the game.
This past week Instagram introduced its newest feature, “Stories”. If you were already a lover of all things Instagram and not so keen on Snapchat but were intrigued by its story feature, then Instagram has just made itself that much easier to love. However, don’t expect all the fun and quirky filters (yeah, we know).
Basically, you can take video snippets and photos and share them to your story that will be available for your followers to see for 24 hours. Same exact concept as Snapchat, who gained lots of love and recognition for this particular exclusive feature. Instagram has gotten a little heat for seemingly “copying” Snapchat, but hey it’s been said that, “imitation is a form of flattery.” Right? So, now that both apps have the same features is it enough to kick one to the curb? Or are both apps still equally necessary?
Well, let’s weigh our pros and cons. The tech stats: As millennials are the largest group of users of these apps and pretty much have high tech standards, they expect the best of the best. While Snapchat features are plentiful and allow you to add the temperature of your location,the time, endless geo tag stickers, and filters, Instagram stories came with some pretty fancy and posh looking font that really appeals to its users, something that Snapchat was lacking.
Those things called ads: So far we haven’t seen any ads with Instagram Stories, so we’ll say that they are a fan favorite in this department, but with a bit of apprehension. Instagram stories are still receiving their five minutes of fame, so it’s only a matter of time before pop-up ads – that you might think are your friends story before you realize what’s going on – start dominating your newsfeed.
Sharing is caring: On both platforms you are able to upload old photos and videos from your camera roll. You are also able to use a chat feature to interact with your followers and friends, however through the Instagram Stories you have to use the typical direct message feature where as with Snapchat you can just swipe up on the specific snap you’re referring to and send a quick message. – I’ll take Snapchat for $500 Alex.
Keeping tabs: For those counting followers and engagement rates, Instagram is easier for you to search user names and discover new users, and vice-versa for those looking for you. Your stories will also be shared with the abundance of followers that you already have. This is great for maintaining a strong brand presence. On Snapchat, you have to enter the exact username in order to add someone.
For your eyes only: While both Snapchat and Instagram both have pretty similar privacy settings in place, Snapchat is more seamless in this case. On Instagram, stories have the same privacy as your main feed. If you’re page is private,only your friends can see them, if your page is public than anyone can view your story. With Snapchat your choice is “My Story” which posts to everyone who follows you or “Friends” where you can send private – aka drunken or maybe not so appropriate snaps to your bff.
All in all, each platform offers just about the same features when it comes to Stories. It’s just a matter of preference. If you were tagging your brand in an Instagram photo for your audience to be directed to your Snapchat username, then the new Instagram Stories feature is definitely for you. We look forward to seeing new and innovative ways both brands and influencers will use Stories.