It seems that since the beginning of time (or at least since 2011), two apps, Snapchat and Instagram, have been battling it out for the attention of the general population and for the dollars of marketers and advertisers.
In one corner, there is an app that lets people take photos and videos and share them with friends and followers for a limited time. People can dress up their photos and videos with filters, text and stickers.
In the other corner, there’s an app that lets people take photos and videos and share them with friends and followers for a limited time. People can use filters, text and stickers to enhance their images and videos. This app also lets people post photos and videos that permanently live on a feed.
But which app has more to offer marketers? The answer depends on a few things. Take a look at the differences between Snapchat and Instagram, then weigh the pros and cons of incorporating either or both into a marketing campaign.
Who’s Using the Apps
The user base for Snapchat and Instagram is wildly different. Snapchat has a much smaller number of users. Around 187 million people open the app daily, with the average user spending more than 30 minutes on the app each day.
Meanwhile, Instagram Stories, the feature it introduced in 2016 to rival Snapchat, has around 300 million daily users. The full app has around 500 million daily users and around 800 million people open Instagram at least once a month.
Snapchat’s user base also tends to trend younger than Instagram. For example, in 2018, the app is expected to gain 1.9 million users under the age of 25 while Instagram is expected to gain fewer such users – only 1.6 million.
While Snapchat does skew younger and the content found on it does have a more DIY style compared to Instagram, it’s not an app that’s exclusively used by individuals. Several B2B businesses are using Snapchat to reach their audiences. B2B companies also have found a way to use Instagram to connect with their markets.
The important thing to ask yourself when deciding between Instagram and Snapchat is: are the companies your business wants to reach using either app (or one instead of the other)?
How Marketers Fare on Each App
Beyond who’s using Snapchat or Instagram, another thing for marketers to consider is what kind of analytics and search tools the apps provide to businesses, and what sort of information you’ll be able to gain from using one or the other.
Previously, it was very difficult to measure performance or results for content published on Snapchat. Snapchat did recently introduce analytics tools which let you see how many people view your stories on the app and how long they spend viewing stories. The analytics also shine a light on who an audience is, giving your details such as location, gender, and age. In contrast, Instagram has been providing business users with analytics and data for some time.
Another big difference between Instagram and Snapchat is how easy (or not) it is to find and connect with other people or users on the app. On Instagram, finding users who might be interested in what you have to say is pretty simple; the app has a Search and Explore tool that shows you photos and videos based on the information it already has about you.
On Snapchat, the only way to connect with another user is to have that person’s username, Snapcode or URL. It’s also difficult for users to find new content on Snapchat, since there’s no tool similar to Instagram’s Search and Explore.
One last thing to consider in the battle between Snapchat and Instagram is the reputation of each app. Snapchat, with its younger user base, is often looked at as a “just for fun” app. Instagram also has a reputation for being lighthearted, but tends to have a more diverse audience. Both have their uses, depending on your marketing goals.
When deciding between Snapchat or Instagram, remember these three things:
- Find for your audience
- Consider the app’s ease of use
- Think about how well the app fits in with the image you want to project to your audience.