Social media choices

Social Media Battle: Snapchat vs. Instagram

This is obvious, but social media has become a major part of daily life. Shocker, I know. People are checking their phones or computers all the time for the latest information (especially if you are one of those millennials – like me).

I’ll bet you a dollar that you’ve checked your Facebook or Instagram feed within the last hour. Ok, that wasn’t fair, but you get what I mean.

So, it comes as no surprise that brands use social media to promote their product/service. But, with new social media platforms popping up all the time that are just as effective as Facebook, coming up with a social media strategy for your brand is tricky. Which is right for your brand? Should you focus on Instagram or Snapchat? Or both? Making the decision requires getting to know both platforms.

Instagram has been around the block and is no stranger to cool content. A picture-based social media platform, it’s just the kind of break people needed from other content. It let people be artistic and encouraged them to share their adventurous side. And the use of hashtags opened up a whole new world of connection.

And then there was Snapchat, a game changer in social media. The concept of disappearing videos and pictures had never been explored before, and people ate it up. Brands jumped on it to create exciting new content that would wow a new audience. And for a while, Snapchat was king.

How would Instagram compete with Snapchat? Well, they developed their own storytelling device: Instagram Stories.

So, which platform is right for your brand?

What social media platform is better for your brand Snapchat or Instagram?

Now that we are all caught up on their history, we can dive into their differences. Everyone rioted when Instagram came out with their stories (some called it the Snapchat killer); battle lines were drawn. Marketers were questioning which way to go, with good reason. Both social media platforms offer unique opportunities but choosing depends on what you want to achieve and who you want to reach.


Stories allow people to see what you are up to for an extended period of time. Think of it as a 24-hour filing cabinet: you can store all your Snaps or videos there and people have 24 hours to look at them. While this feature may be similar on each platform, there are some major differences:

  • IG’s stories are at the top of the page, ready to be seen at a moment’s notice.
  • Snapchat’s, on the other hand, are on a separate page you have to “swipe” to view. It might be a minor inconvenience, but one that could cost you views. However, Snapchat lets you decide on the length of your video, while Instagram does not, which is a big plus.


Snapchat was game changing with their disappearing videos. Even their story feature only stayed for 24-hours. For ads, this could be counterproductive, but Snapchat offers many ways to advertise. Brands can use filters, do a full-page Snap Ad, or get creative with lenses and geofilters. This provides marketers with a lot of options, which is good. You can also customize your audience, which is very helpful. The one down side: the ads are only ten seconds long.

Instagram ads are totally different. As you’re scrolling through your feed, you might see a sponsored post, and you can either click on their bio, or the actual post could have a link embedded in the picture. There are also video ads that come in handy, and now you can upload 60-second videos to Instagram.

Brands are also taking advantage of Instagram stories in advertising. There are two formats to utilize these: you can create and post an image based ad, or you can upload a video (people love video).


 Having the right audience is the icing on the marketing cake. Brands need to ensure their ads are reaching the right people.

Snapchat and Instagram have very different audiences, according to this Forbes article:

  • Snapchat has a younger teen and millennial audience.
  • Instagram has a very broad demographic (but fewer teens and millennials).

You’ll want to make sure that you are hitting the right audiences before focus on a social media platform.

I recommend looking closely at your goals and your desired audience before making the call. You might want to test both platforms to see what perform works best for your brand.

So, which social media platform wins? Is there actually a winner? I have my preferences, but you’ll have to do some digging into your campaign to really see which platform is best for your brand. And, if you’re having trouble figuring it out let us know, we’re always happy to help!