Recently, Instagram's been adding features that are pretty obviously meant to compete with Snapchat.
Both platforms are among the top social media apps right now, especially for teens and young adults.
For many brands, especially B2C brands whose products lend themselves to visual content, both apps can be indispensable marketing tools.
While Instagram does have features that Snapchat pioneered originally, like Stories, each platform is still distinct. While they're similar on the surface, people use them a bit differently.
As a result, the kinds of content you can create aren't necessarily identical.
With that said, both Snapchat and Instagram allow users (and marketers) to create “Stories,” sets of photos with a 24-hour lifespan.
You can edit the images with fun captions and filters, then share them with your followers.
In a recent blog post, Hootsuite explains how Snapchat stories are distinct from Instagram stories, and how brands can use both.
How to post content: the differences
Snapchat only offers one avenue to create posts—a “story” that’s a combo of all your video or pics snapped in the last 24 hours. After a Snap is a day old, it disappears from view (unless a user reshares it from their Memories).
By tapping the camera button on the bottom of the screen, you can take a photo (like a quick selfie) or video up to 10 seconds in length. From there, you can add text, stickers, drawings, filters, and other features to jazz up your content, then send directly to a follower or post to your Story.
On Instagram, users have the option to post on their feed or their Story. The feed displays an account’s photos and quick videos, and Stories display in a carousel at the top of the screen. The images on your feed are forever, but Stories, like with Snapchat, have a 24-hour shelf life.
From the Instagram home screen, a quick swipe to the right gives you access to the Instagram Story camera. From there, you can record video (a regular video or a live video), snap a photo, or shoot a Boomerang to use in your Story. After editing and adding to your creation, you can save your Story to your camera roll, send it directly to another user, or post it to your feed.
Now that you’ve got the skinny on Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories, it’s time for you to weigh the advantages of both options.
If both platforms work for your brand, then you don’t have to choose—use both. To save a little time and effort, you could try repurposing your content from one platform and sharing it on the other.
You can read more about Snapchat and Instagram over at Hootsuite.