Tip Tuesday: Snapchat and Instagram Battle over New Features

It’s crazy to look back 10 years ago and see how the world has changed from social media. From making sure you had the best theme for your Myspace profile, to uploading videos of your dog playing the piano on YouTube, to becoming fans of every page on Facebook, social media has evolved. Today you have people making a living from posting viral videos of catchphrases, or millions following an account that makes slime. Social media is taking over the world with over 2.8 billion users among the hundreds of platforms users can connect to.

The basic idea behind any social media platform is to share what you are up to. You can do that by posting statuses, writing tweets or vlogging your life. The latest trend is uploading a photo or video to your story. Snapchat developed the idea back in 2013 to share up to a 10-second clip of your life to your friends that would last for 24 hours. The idea became popular with younger audiences since Snapchat was a platform parents weren’t on. It gave children more freedom to post what they wanted since the content would end up disappearing. It became a place to show off your true self in a world where you’re trying to show off the best version of yourself. Instagram hopped on the bandwagon adding their own story feature to the platform. Since its launch in August 2016, it has been a constant battle between the two platforms and where you should tell your story.

With an overwhelming 700 million users active on Instagram and 300 million users on Snapchat (monthly), there is a huge opportunity to reach your audience. Both platforms have potential to help your business but it comes down to what specific needs do you have?

If you are looking to engage with your audience, my suggestion is to use Snapchat. The app allows you to interact with stories with doodles and video replies. With custom face filters and world lenses, you can show off your world with a goofy touch. One of my favorite users of Snapchat is The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (@FallonTonight). Every Thursday is “Tickets at Twelve Thursday.” Jimmy’s team sends out an intern into the middle of New York City with a pair of tickets to the live screening of the night’s show. The intern posts a video of their location in the city and the first person to find them gets to see Jimmy Fallon! Snapchat has an advantage with a relatively new feature. You can now insert a link in your story post which allows users to take the view off Snapchat and onto your website. Instagram has this feature available too, but only to people that have over 10 thousand followers. With the majority of users having only a few hundred followers, whether it be a personal or brand account, it leaves the greater Instagram population out of the loop for this feature. If Instagram permits all users to insert a link, this could be an absolute game changer.

Instagram has the upper hand on Snapchat when it comes to connecting users. You can tag users of other Instagram accounts within your story which would be great for brand influencers. Bring the followers from your brand page onto the influencers page to see what it’s like to really use a product! Other than tagging other accounts, you can add hashtags and locations to your story. If your company has a consistent hashtag within your posts, you can connect your story to the hashtag as well. For example, if you hashtag Nike’s famous tagline “Just Do It,” every person that uses the hashtag #JustDoIt will compile into one story. The same goes for tagging a location. If you were in the middle of Times Square and you add the location sticker, every user that tags the same location will show up in a location specific story. With Snapchat lacking that connection between accounts, Instagram could be a one stop shop for stories.

It seems like updates are coming out weekly between the Instagram and Snapchat. With this constant competition going on, it will be interesting to see who wins in the end. But until then, experiment with both Instagram and Snapchat stories. They both have potential to help build your brand and make your story one worth hearing!


Intern Hannah is pursuing a dual major in Advertising and Marketing at Rowan University. In her spare time, she loves going down the shore and dancing around at concerts.

Emails you will look forward to.

Top