Snapchat vs Instagram Stories

Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories

Who wins the award for most popular and effective platform?

We know, we know. Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories…

The debate is seemingly endless. Below, we weigh in on the two platforms and where they stand on stories.

The Story Behind “Stories”

In the span of two years, social media “stories” have sashayed into the spotlight as the it-feature on major platforms. If you’re still not clear on the difference between a “story” and a post, a story is a temporary post (still photo or video) that is intended to casually update friends and followers on the last 24 hours of your life. As competition between social media platforms has grown fiercer, user traffic has ricocheted between the two apps that have most fully embraced the story: Snapchat and Instagram. Despite the different experiences they offer users, these two heavy-hitters are in the middle of a long war to dominate our free time, and the stakes are high – the loser of the Battle of the Story risks joining networks like Myspace and Vine in the footnotes of the social media history books. To better examine the clash between the apps, let’s take a brief look at how far they’ve come.

The Facebook Exodus

Instagram, which gained popularity as users started to tire of bloated Facebook newsfeeds, started out as a concept that was strong by virtue of its simplicity. An easy-to-use, simple-to-navigate platform for sharing photos, Instagram’s creators hoped users would use their day-to-day moments to spark conversations. And for some time, they did just that – as grandparents grew steadily more interested in commenting on those Saturday pre-game photos, younger audiences fled Facebook’s ranks to join Instagram, a community still veiled in perceived exclusivity.

The Flatlining of Flat Lays

As the number of Instagram users rose, so did the standards for a “worthy” post. The average user, dejected by the impossibly crisp, curated content flooding their feeds, began to post less and less frequently. The closing demographic gap between Facebook and Instagram, mixed with content saturation at the expense of engagement, was creating a vacuum for something new. Something more casual. Something, perhaps, TOO casual. Something like Snapchat.

Snapchat Snaps Into Place

Prior to becoming a craze, Snapchat had a pretty shady reputation for being a hookup tool for young millennials, offering a space to exchange “private” photos with the peace-of-mind that came with self-destructing content. The app weathered on through the day of the 16GB base-model smartphone, as the only photo-sharing app that wouldn’t eat up precious storage space. It was perhaps a stroke of pure luck that Snapchat had the opportunity to shed its former skin – as a place to show your nudes to people you didn’t trust very much – and become an absolute obsession for the under-25 crowd. With a clear line between sponsored content and user content, and by giving users closed-loop control of who could see their Snaps, Snapchat was in a prime position to annex the casual appeal Instagram was founded on.

Killing the Ghost

Almost as if on cue, Instagram had a breakthrough: if the newsfeed concept had managed to shapeshift successfully to work for so many platforms, why couldn’t the concept of stories? The instant-sharing, low-key feel of stories could co-exist alongside the carefully-built photo grids attracting droves of followers on Instagram. The inception of Instagram Stories didn’t take more than 24 hours to start catching the attention of Snapchat devotees, and with the recent introduction of filters, the crux of Snapchat’s model, reasons for users to stay on Snapchat have dwindled to pure force of habit.

Snapchat Steps Up

Now, Snapchat is trying to carve out a new angle by offering Our Story, a collaborative tool that lets users contribute to a master Story from several users at once. Snapchat loyalists are already lauding the potential of the new feature, which may buy Snapchat much-needed time as it plans its next competitive edge.  It’s a smart move on Snapchat’s part, removing the pressure on users to assert their individuality and focusing on creating shared memories– albeit, memories that disappear after 24 hours.

Topping the Charts

So, who will prevail? Snapchat or Instagram?

On the great stage of social media stories, Snapchat is like Rihanna: a good girl gone bad, gone good again – emerging from a scandalous background to offer a carefree experience strengthened by great collabs.

By contrast, Instagram is like Beyoncé: a strong starter who, after a brief lull of career vertigo, came back stronger than ever and ready to mow down the competition.