Battle of the platforms: Snapchat or Instagram?

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Social Media is all around us and we use more social platforms than ever before. You can guarantee that most people have either Snapchat or Instagram, or maybe both, on their phones. The platforms have been growing and growing in popularity ever since they launched.

While both are associated with images and videos being distributed to the public, they have their similarities and differences.

Recently there have been changes to both apps and a lot of people are finding that Instagram is starting to copy some of Snapchat’s features such as the ‘Stories’ feature. We think it’s about time we delved in a bit deeper and figure out which app is truly the best when it comes to marketing your business.

Brief Background into Both Platform’s Companies

Let’s look at Snapchat first, the youngest of the two. Launching in 2011, Snapchat allows you to take pictures or videos to send to your friends or place on your story the people that follow you. They can last up to 10 seconds before they disappear forever meaning your conversations are safe. And in case you were wondering about those sneaky enough to screenshot your snap, Snapchat will send you a notification if that happens.

To show the popularity of the app, we have some statistics for you. There are over 100 million active users that use Snapchat every day, with the number of Snaps sent each day reaching 400 million! Those numbers are mind blowing and almost 70% of those users are women and the average age of them are 13-24 years old. Snapchat is perfect if this is your target audience.

Now for Instagram. The sister company to Facebook, the app allows users to share photos and videos online with the users that are following them and consequently view content from users they follow. You can create descriptions for images and even tag people in them, much like Facebook. There are over 400 million monthly active users liking about 5 billion photos a day! Instagram has a larger user base but it also caters to more age groups.

The Advantages

When it comes to their strong points, both platforms have things that they do well. Up first, Snapchat:

-Not every brand has established themselves on the platform due to it being relatively new still compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. You may not have as much competition as you would on other platforms making it easier for you to become a front runner for your niche.

-Those who use the platform do so quite frequently, often having conversations with their friends and watching their favourites celebrities’ updates. The increased activity means there’s a good chance that they will be active and responsive to your Snaps.

-Recently Snapchat created its own Ad platform, finally allowing businesses to promote their product among their audience. The great thing about this is that there is an option to skip them by just tapping the screen, giving audiences the power.

Instagram has so many people raving about it and here are some of the advantages we’ve seen:

-You can extend your reach on Instagram through the use of hashtags that can be written in the description of an image. These hashtags, once clicked, take you to a feed of images that all used these hashtags somewhere. Not only will this boost your engagement through people searching for that specific tag, but it will allow you to research your potential audience.

-A direct link to Facebook allows you to cross promote your content to reach even more people. Not to mention, it’s free promotion! Similarly to Facebook and now Snapchat, Instagram has paid advertising that will pop up on users’ feed every now and again.

-Instagram is the perfect platform if your product is visually appealing. The higher quality of images on Instagram makes it a lot easier to advertise the best parts of your product – not to mention how many filters the app has now.

The Disadvantages

Now that we’ve taken a quick look at both apps advantages, it’s time to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and find out where these platforms fall short. Let’s look at Snapchat:

-A major problem that could crop up would be the limited audience reach. If you want to reach more than just teenagers and young adults, Snapchat isn’t for you. When you compare the audience on Snapchat to Facebook, you can see just how narrow it is.

-While it may seem that the 10 second limit on photos and videos is great at first, there are issues. How do you know that people are really paying attention? It’s not exactly like they can give you a thumbs up when they resonate with what you are promoting like on Facebook and Instagram.

Up next, we have Instagram:

-One problem with the platform is the as it focuses primarily on image you must sell a visual product. Written messages would be better suited to Snapchat or even Twitter. Not only do your products have to stand out, it will take time and effort to create the image that you want.

-The competition on Instagram will be much stronger than on Snapchat. That is purely down to the fact that some see Instagram as the easier platform to navigate. This could make it difficult for your brand to stand out among others.

The Differences Between the Platforms

After looking at all the facts and figures for both platforms, it is easy to see where the main differences are. Here are just a few that we have spotted and think will make it easier for you to choose which to utilize.

-It is very clear that there is a big difference between who uses what app. Snapchat resonates very easily with young and vibrant 13-24 year olds, and most are women. Looking to advertise and market your product towards 20-30-year-old men? Forget Snapchat! Instagram offers a wider audience, making them more accessible for brands to market to. It seems that Snapchat may have lost out on this one.

-The quality between the two platforms differ greatly. Instagram has a very professional feel to it, which can make people more likely to stop and check out a product when scrolling down. Snapchat on the other hand can vary in quality due to what camera a phone is equipped with. The quality of videos would be much lower than those on Instagram due to the equipment used.

-Leading onto our next point. Snapchat has an air of spontaneity to it. This often making the content fun and interesting compared to the structured images on Instagram. Snapchat feels natural to the audience, it offers up some transparency. This makes the brand more trustworthy to future business. Often, people turn away from Instagram because it feels to forced and fake due to the carefully crafted content.

Asking the Public

Not too long ago, Wishbone conducted a survey. It was to see whether the younger audience (ages 12-25) would delete Snapchat in favor of Instagram. This was due to changes that now make them so similar. More than 30,000 users from both apps participated and the results were interesting. To see the survey in full, simply click on the link above. Here are just some of the statistics.

-What’s the preference, Instagram or Snapchat? 37% answered Instagram whereas 63% answered Snapchat.

-Are most of your friends on IG or Snapchat? 48% Instagram, 52% Snapchat.

-Will you be deleting Snapchat now with Instagram’s new stories feature? 25% said yes, 75% said no.

As you can tell already, it seems that people are still loving all that Snapchat can offer them in terms of entertainment.

Verdict

We’ve looked at nearly all the key aspects of both platforms. It is now time to decide which is best suited for your business. We can only give you the facts to help you decide so it is down to you to really figure it out.

Most may prefer Instagram for marketing purposes because of its structured appearance and professionalism. But there is nothing to stop you trying out Instagram. It will work great if you want your brand to come across as fun and offer up some transparency. You could even give a behind-the-scenes look at how your product is made. Maybe even take them to a photoshoot.

You know all the facts, time to decide. What platform will you use?

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