Snapchat versus Instagram: Where does your brand belong?

A picture containing icon Description automatically generated



Snapchat and Instagram are two of the most popular social apps, and both have a similar focus on image sharing and visual content. In many ways, the apps are very similar while key differences make for important distinctions for when and how you should use either Instagram or Snapchat to share content.

Instagram and Snapchat remain in a head-to-head battle to win your brand’s loyalty—and your marketing department’s advertising dollars. Which app will work best for your brand? In this blog post, we compare Instagram’s and Snapchat’s features and demographics so that you can make an informed decision as you build out a winning content strategy.

Statistics for Snapchat and Instagram.

Instagram is a social networking site that’s focused on image and video sharing. The app has seen an enormous increase in popularity over recent years driven by the addition of the Instagram Story feature that lets users share content that disappears after 24 hours.

According to Techjury, Instagram has over 500 million active daily users. Seventy percent of Instagram users watch Stories daily, while 86.6% of Instagram users post Stories. Over 36% of businesses promote their products and services on Instagram Stories while 25% of Gen Z and Millennial Instagram user find product and services by watching Stories. The numbers don’t lie. Brands need to show up on Instagram Stories to market to a younger audience.

Meanwhile, Hootsuite reports that Snapchat has roughly 319 million daily active users—a 20% year-over-year increase from 2020. So while other social networks are picking up steam, Snapchat is still keeping its momentum. As with Instagram, Snapchat’s userbase skews younger. Twenty percent of Snapchat users are between 18 and 24. Snapchat usage significantly decreases amongst those over the age of 35, so if you’re marketing to elder Millennials, Gen X, or Boomers, Instagram might be a more effective platform.

The Hootsuite report also points out that 90% of Snapchat users also use Instagram. People are online, all the time, and across multiple platforms.

What’s the difference between Snapchat and Instagram?

Not long after Snapchat turned down an offer from Meta (Instagram’s parent company) to buy the app, Meta started to develop Snapchat-like features in Instagram. Today, Snapchat and Instagram provide similar experiences. Both apps allow for users to post temporary content that disappears after 24 hours. This limited shelf life is appealing to users of both platforms as it keeps their feeds relevant, refreshed, new, and always-updating.

The apps have similar features, but the user interface is difference. Snapchat users view Snapchat Stories by swiping left from the in-app camera tab. From this view, you’ll see all the Snapchat Stories your connections have posted. Instagram Stories appear as circles on the top of the app screen. Instagram Stories are pictures and videos that are uploaded by users.

A person using a tablet Description automatically generated with low confidence

Is Snapchat or Instagram better for businesses?

It depends. Instagram has a range of features that make it a great tool for social media marketing. Businesses and brands can take full advantage of the platform by switching to a ‘business’ account, making their page more searchable and allowing others to see direct contact information. Instagram has also has a longer video format called Instagram TV where businesses can post videos up to 90 minutes long. Businesses can also host “Ask Me Anything” events through a button right in Instagram Stories. This feature is very popular with influencers or brands who have spokespeople who can represent the business on a Live.

Instagram also allows for one-on-one communications with a private messaging system, which helps you answer customers quickly, and point them in the direction of what they need to know.

Since the introduction of Instagram Stories, Snapchat has developed new and exciting territory including ‘Snap Maps’ that allow users to pinpoint your friends’ location with the app. Users are also able to replay snaps and unlock fun filters the more they use the platform. NBC, E! News, Harpers Bazaar, and The New York Times all create content for the platform, activity which Snapchat has seen huge success as a short-form serialized video platform.

In summary: Instagram is where your customers go to find out what’s going on in their wider friendship circle. Snapchat is where your customers develop closer personal relationships with their friends. This subtle difference in end goal will help you determine who you want to target with your marketing—and how you want to market to them.

At first glance, Snapchat and Instagram are almost indistinguishable. However, as each network grows and develops it establishes a unique stance in the marketplace.

Did you know that you can plan, preview, and publish social media posts across platforms using Content Schedule in Adobe Express? This means you don’t have to choose between Snapchat and Instagram. Post to both and watch your social media strategy soar.

Try Adobe Express today