Is Instagram Stories Killing Snapchat?

By Amanda Korth, Digital Advertising Manager

Published: June 30, 2017

Instagram Stories users officially surpassed Snapchat in users with 200 million storytellers recorded in April. Crushing Snapchat’s 161 million recorded users, it begs the question: is Instagram Stories killing Snapchat?

Some background: Instagram Stories launched in August 2016 within Instagram. Instagram Stories appear as individual icons at the top of a user’s Instagram feed, revealing more candid photos and videos from accounts followed. Fun fact: Instagram is owned by Facebook, which also implemented Stories in their mobile app (and it tanked).

Snapchat features shared photos and videos as well, but that’s where the similarities end. While Instagram is curated with high quality images and crafted captions, Snapchat is raw, candid and personal. Snapchat focuses on direct messaging (i.e. Snaps) while Instagram features a scrolling feed of images. And because Snapchat’s photos expire quickly, an exciting sense of urgency is created, while Instagram has a more thoughtful permanence. It’s like comparing Macs and PCs.

While Instagram Stories has surpassed Snapchat in users, it is part of the larger Instagram app that already boasts 400 million daily users.  Because Instagram Stories appear at the top of the Instagram feed, it makes them impossible to ignore (or easy to accidentally click). And while Instagram counts daily Stories users, their statistics don’t specify if Stories users are actively contributing Stories or just clicking on a single story. In fact, Instagram’s parent company Facebook is notorious for miscounting video views.

The average Snapchat user spends roughly a half hour per day using the app and 60 percent of users are crafting Snaps or Stories, while Instagram users spend more time scrolling — and for 15 minutes per day at that. While Instagram Stories has more users, Snapchatters are far more active.

In other words, it’s impossible to consider the future of Snapchat in the light of Instagram Stories successes because the apps are so vastly different. Sorry Instagram Stories, Snapchat is here to stay.

Which App is Best for Your Business

Still, it’s important for brands to evaluate both platforms and consider each app’s effectiveness for their business.

Some things to consider:

  • Your products and services. Instagram better caters to high quality, curated images. Use Snapchat for more causal content.
  • Length of campaign. If you’re looking to showcase a quick sale or happy hour special, Snapchat is the app for a quick campaign. Instagram’s curated style offers more permeance for a brand-building campaign.
  • Your audience. Snapchat speaks to a young millennial audience (although age demographics are growing), while Instagram’s audience skews slightly older and international, with 80 percent of users outside the United States.

With millions of users between Snapchat and Instagram, brands may be missing valuable opportunities to connect with their audience. Ready to start building your brand’s social media presence? Fill out our contact form and let’s chat!