Did you know you can now Snapchat from your Instagram account? Not literally, but Instagram did add a new feature called Instagram Stories. If you just read that and thought “Hey, wait a minute! Doesn’t Snapchat have stories too?” Yes, you are right and yes, it is almost a direct copy. Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, even said that “they (Snapchat) deserve all the credit.”
Snapchat Instagram Stories live at the top of your photo feed and everyone you already follow will show up there, if they’ve posted a story. Those stories will last for 24 hours, just like Snapchat. One improvement Instagram has made within its story feature is the ability to pause and rewind within a story, a feature missing from Snapchat.
Stories work the same on Snap and Instagram, minus a few little differences. Stories still last for 24 hours and you can apply text or draw on those images. One thing missing from Instagram is the ability to send direct Story messages to individuals. So if you need to send personal messages that disappear after a set time, Snapchat is still your best bet.
Does Instagram have those cool face filters and geofilters like Snapchat? Not yet. You’ll currently only find that feature on Snapchat, but it will probably be coming soon to Instagram. Back in March, Facebook purchased the popular face swap app, MSQRD. With Facebook owing Instagram, you can almost guarantee that integration will be coming as soon as possible.
Brands and users who haven’t ventured into Snapchat yet, but are active on Instagram, are going to love stories. If you have 50,000 followers, you have potentially 50,000 views on your story. You don’t have to regrow that audience on Snapchat. Your followers will be able to see your stories as soon as you start posting them.
Instagram also has the benefit on an in app search function which Snapchat is lacking. Currently, if you want to search for new accounts to follow on Snapchat, you have to use a third party app called Ghost Codes or find their Snapchat account being promoted on other Social Media sites. Instagram already has the discovery feature built in. If a user is following you on Instagram, they’ll be able to see your story.
That important question to ask is “What you should be doing with Instagram Stories?” You or your brand should use it for timely content that you wouldn’t necessarily post on your main Instagram feed. Planning on posting a video showcasing a new product or sale? Use your Story to feature a behind the scenes view of the video. Use the story function as added value to your main content. DO NOT post the same content in your story and your feed, unless you want it to live past 24 hours. Make the content unique and different from your everyday posts. You shouldn’t be using Instagram Stories just because everyone else is. Your content has to have a reason to be posted, don’t just post to post.
If you have a Snapchat account already, post different content on Instagram. You have to give your followers a reason to be following you on all of these social media platforms. If they see the same content everywhere, you are deluding the work you do and could get unfollowed.
The biggest advantage Instagram has going for it is the easy ability to use Ads. Brands can take advantage of paid support to grow their fan base, thus increasing their potential for more story views. Snapchat does have ad integration, but at this point it is just pre-roll type video ads or paid filters. You can’t pay for followers on Snap and you have to reach out to Snapchat to set up ads. For Instagram, you just have to pull up the Power Editor or Ads Manager and you are on your way to creating ads yourself.
Are people going to abandon Snapchat for Instagram? Yes and no. I’ve already seen people I follow leave Snapchat and go to Instagram. They have a huge following on Instagram and don’t want to bother with two places for content now. With that said, I’ve seen people on Instagram Stories promoting their Snapchat account. At this early point, it is really personal preference. For brands, you probably want to double down on your Instagram.