Snapchat or Instagram Stories: Which one is good for business?

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snapchat or instagram

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Almost every week, competitors Snapchat and Instagram launch new marketing features to edge out each other.

Snapchat claims it focuses on preserving its users’ relationships and not to market content. Instagram walks along that line by adding features to improve privacy.

With almost similar features, a battle between the two platforms has ensued. Marketers pick one over the other to spend resources and build social presence, depending which one serves their campaign’s purpose.

Instagram definitely beats Snapchat in sheer number of users. But Snapchat is more influential among teens and millennials.

Here are key business points to compare between Snapchat and Instagram.

Daily Active Users (DAUs)

In May this year, Snapchat reported having around 166 million DAUs in Q1 2017. Of those users, 40 million post stories every day.

In contrast, Instagram has more than 700 million users. Of those users, more than 250 million use Stories daily.

By total users and DAUs, Instagram is better than Snapchat. The former raises brand awareness to new heights that the latter has yet to reach.

Instagram, owned by Facebook, knew the threat posed by Snapchat. So, it decided to copy how Snapchat Stories works. And it clearly paid off.

Still, size is not the sole metric. We have to consider different elements to assess the better option for your business.

User Engagement

Knowing its battle against a giant, Snap has moved talks away from number of users toward user engagement. And the company thinks it can edge out the competition in this metric.

This strategy is more sensible and works better than piling up raw numbers. Instagram has a parent company with more than a billion users. Its capacity to use Facebook’s network trumps any advantage Snapchat has in raw numbers.

Snap strategy chief Imran Khan said Snapchat users are active for more than 30 minutes per day. He noted the improvement from their IPO in February.

In April, Facebook said its users spend an average of 50 minutes per day across platforms, including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. While Instagram has improved from the 21 minutes per day in 2014, the latest data is a collective average, and Facebook did not highlight Instagram’s own minutes-per-day data.

Yet, averages decrease when a service acquires more users, despite having long minutes per session.

The data hints Snapchat may have better engagement than Instagram. Average revenue per user is another matter in itself.

The Power of Millennials

Snapchat has long been considered pervasive among younger audiences or millennials.

Instagram and Snapchat skew towards young users. Most Instagram users are under 30 years old, while most Snapchat users are under 34.

Snapchat has more resonance with users under 25, as it represents 60 percent of total users. And nearly 25 percent of total users are still in high school.

Evidently, more women use both services than men. In 2013, 70 percent of Snapchat users were women. Although lacking new data, the trend is most likely skewed similarly.

If your business aims to reach the teenage demographic, Snapchat is the better option. If you want a wider range of young audiences, Instagram is the safer bet.



If most of your audience are still in high school, Snapchat has a better appeal. But if you want a wider range of young people and millennials, you will never go wrong with Instagram.

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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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