Instagram or Snapchat — which one should you choose?


Both platforms are similar. They each have a huge audience base and are suited for visual marketing. So, it’s not an easy choice. But most marketers are picking Instagram over Snapchat.


Instagram has over a billion monthly active users while Snapchat has about 218 million daily active users, worldwide. But that’s not the only reason why marketers prefer Instagram for promotional campaigns. 


After all, 39.9% of social media users in the USA used Snapchat in 2018, making it a powerful marketing platform. However, the same study revealed that this share is projected to fall and reach to 35.3% in 2023.


It’s a tell-all sign that Snapchat is losing its sheen. 


So, where is Snapchat falling short?


Let’s get into the crux of the matter. Here are five reasons why marketers prefer Instagram over Snapchat to increase their overall online sales:

1. Instagram Does Stories Better

Snapchat was the first social media platform to come up with the concept of Stories. This feature allowed its users to share photos and videos of daily activities. Stories were exciting as you could add text, graphics, and more to them.


The Stories feature opened up a world of opportunities for marketers. Using it, they could tell more vivid stories, run contests, and make announcements. 

Soon enough, Instagram pounced on the opportunity to roll out their version of Stories. With another platform bringing in the same feature, the uniqueness of the idea was gone. 


Interestingly, Instagram kept most of the things the same, including the name and the basic features. Today over 500 million people use the Stories feature on the platform daily. 


So, what’s the difference between Stories on Instagram and Snapchat? 

Let’s take a look.


Instagram is a marketer’s delight because the Stories are prominently placed. As soon as the users open the app, Stories are the first thing they see at the top of the screen. This makes it easy for them to capture their audience’s attention.


Additionally, the Stories keep playing one after the other in a sequence. Even if a user clicks on just one Story, the chances are that they will end up seeing a few more. 


What’s more, the platform offers plenty of tools such as stickers, augmented reality (AR) filters, and drawing tools to help you build a super interactive experience for viewers. 


Through Stories, you can also drive traffic to your landing pages. This can help you with lead generation and sales. However, for this, you must ensure that your landing pages are top-notch. To build such landing pages, you can use landing page builders. 


When it comes to Stories, Snapchat is more user-centric in its approach. For example, Stories did autoplay in the past on Snapchat, but they have removed this feature. 


This gives the power in the hands of the users. They get to decide which Stories they want to view. That’s a great feature for the users. But for marketers and influencers, it’s a dealbreaker. This cuts down the overall reach of their Stories and reduces the chances of users engaging with them. 

2. Organized User Interface

Consistent look and feel is a key aspect of brand building. This is why the ability to brand the Story with a visual layout that is consistent with the overall branding effort is a plus point for marketers. 


Let’s look at how both the social media apps stack up against each other in terms of ease of organizing the visual layout. 


The organized layout seems like a priority for Instagram. From the visual layout of Stories at the top and everything in relation to navigation at the bottom, the interface is user-friendly and organized. Instagram focuses on maintaining aesthetics and order on the platform. 


But it also gives enough liberty to marketers and influencers to manipulate photos and order their placement. This allows marketers and brands to showcase the best versions of themselves. 


The focus is on the users, so when the user opens the app, they are instantly plunged into the camera app. They are nudged into creating something right away, regardless of whether they wanted that or not. This is good for people who have always something to say. 

3. Features to Put Your Best Foot Forward

The more features there are on the social media platform, the better it is for marketers and brands. A social media platform that brings more tools and features to the table that make content creation easy, will score. 


Instagram offers a range of tools and features to help you create impactful content. For example, you can share your Stories with filters that can make your photographs look even better. 


You can seamlessly add flair to your images and videos by editing them in the app.


Additionally, you can use various tools to schedule and share them on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This way, your posts can get greater reach as well. 


Snapchat also offers an array of tools and features to create great content. However, it had a rough time identifying its real purpose since its origin as a private messaging platform with disappearing messages. 


Some of its new features have led to a backlash as well. Over 1 million users signed a petition in 2018 to restore the previous version as well.


4. Ease of Use for Influencers and Brands

We live in a busy world and everyone is hustling to tick off items from their checklists. If a platform is overcomplicated, it is going to be a definite turn off for influencer marketing. It has to be easy and rewarding for influencers and brands to take it seriously. 


Instagram makes it extremely easy for marketers to create posts or Stories and publish them on the platform. When you are building a brand, it’s more about building an experience for your target audience. Since so much goes into building a brand, the easier a platform is, the better.


Instagram seems to understand this very well. Therefore, it has simplified things at various levels. For example, you can easily find people to follow, remain updated with the latest topics, and also engage with others easily.  Additionally, Instagram allows you to save some of your Stories as Highlights to make them available permanently.


It’s also easy to partner with influencers on the platform. However, it can be challenging for brands to find reliable influencers, manage the campaign, and track the results. In such a situation, you can always partner with agencies that handle social media campaigns for brands.


It seems Snapchat has missed out in this area. If you want to follow someone with the help of their username, you will need to go through multiple screens to make that happen. 


The posts at Snapchat also have a limited lifespan and it lacks a Highlights section like Instagram. Thus, you can not find any old posts on Snapchat, which isn’t ideal.

5. Numbers Speak Volumes

In the end, everything boils down to numbers. The ideal platform for marketers is the one that enables them to reach and engage more people with the least amount of effort. 


Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, but with features that allow you to share your posts on other platforms, you have an even bigger market. Additionally, it gives you the option to create a public profile.


This increases your discoverability among potential followers. As a result, brands have a greater chance of reaching potential followers on the platform. These stats show that Instagram is a powerful platform for marketers and influencers.


Snapchat has about 314 million monthly active users. But since the platform is more focused on the users, you might find the majority of them busy sending photos back and forth among themselves.


This can make it difficult for marketers to reach users on the platform. Additionally, the profiles on Snapchat can only be viewed by the people who have added the influencer’s or the brand’s profile. This can drastically reduce your reach. 


Instagram is the clear winner when it comes to the preferred platform for marketers and influencers. Snapchat has fewer active users on the platform than Instagram, but the numbers are still significant. So it cannot be ignored if you are looking to build a brand presence on all the platforms where you have your target audience. 


Which platform do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.



Dawn Bowman is the Managing Editor for Shane Barker Consulting. She was previously the Managing Editor at KillerStartups, and In her spare time, she writes short stories and song lyrics.