Snapchat VS. Instagram Stories. Which is Best for Small Businesses?

instagram stories vs snapchat

Snapchat Has Competition, It’s Here in the Form of Instagram Stories

Instagram stories may be the new kid on the block, but have they beat Snapchat at its own game? Since Instagram introduced “Stories” in late 2016, many people are claiming Snapchat has lost its monopoly over ephemeral messaging. They’re also suggesting that Instagram has taken its place. Snapchat may have pioneered disappearing content, but Instagram clearly doesn’t want to miss out on the trend. When it comes to business, which is best? Here’s our post outlining the battle between Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat.

For a small business starting to work out their social media strategy, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of social media networks out there. Each platform is best for a particular job. The same can be said of Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Both are different, and should be treated as such. If the past year has been anything to go by, 24-hour storytelling on social media is here to stay. Now is the time to learn how to use these platforms for your business.

Instagram stories vs Snapchat


Creators of the 24-hour disappearing content, Snapchat were the dominant force in ephemeral content for a long time. Usually Snapchat users would follow predominantly friends, celebrities, or influencers. In order to see users posts, Snapchat usernames have to be provided in order to add somebody as a friend. This can mean users don’t add people they don’t know – unlike following somebody on Instagram, which is completely non-committal. Owing to this, Snapchat users usually have less contacts, but they are closer with, and more likely to engage with the content those contacts post.

snapchat stories for business

Snapchat is also a great platform for targeting millennials or generation Z. Users of the app fit into a younger demographic, with 60% of users being under 25. With the audience being so young, it allows brands to be creative with the content they publish. The app lends itself to innovative spontaneity, and allows users a glimpse into the behind the scenes of the company. Content posted should be authentic, engaging, and emotive.

24-hour content is beneficial, because you can specifically select the content you want to show, whether that’s a typical day in the office, a mini Q&A with the CEO or just to show some of the great personalities you have working for your business. Snapchat is a great platform to use to try and build your brand identity and develop an affinity with your audience.

Instagram Stories

Giving Snapchat a run for its money, Instagram Stories is proving to be incredibly popular. With new features being added regularly, Instagram Stories has got some aspects Snapchat doesn’t. Features such as Geo-targeted Instagram Stories set the two apart. Businesses can geo-tag their stories, which are then added to a wider story for that particular location. This can mean all businesses in one area are visible on the “explore” page of Instagram, and content can reach users that aren’t even followers of their account.

Instagram Stories for business

Beyond features there is the main appeal of Instagram Stories; reach. Instagram was able to drive massive engagement as soon as Stories was launched. Instagram users naturally flocked towards to the new feature as they were already using and engaging on the platform. As soon as influencers started using the feature, many regular users and brands followed suit.

Perhaps one of the key things to know about Instagram Stories is the impact of algorithms. Instagram makes it easy to engage with the best of the accounts you already follow by sorting Stories algorithmically. The app’s algorithm decides the order in which Stories appear in the bar above users’ main feed. The order is based on whose content people usually engage with. Additionally, Instagram Stories appear in the apps Explore tab, making it easy for users to find new Stories.

Instagram stories for business

Understanding the ins and outs of each platform is essential for success. A one size fits all approach just won’t work. One platform doesn’t top the other, it all depends on what you use them for. Have a strategy for both Instagram Stories and Snapchat, and treat them as different entities. Instagram may have more users, but those users only spend around 15 minutes a day on the app, and that is mostly for browsing. Snapchat users however, though dwindling in number, usually spend 30 minutes on the app a day, and this time is spent creating content. Try use both the platforms in your marketing strategy, just tailor your content on each!

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