Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Picture of Aliza Sherman Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker. Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.

Showdown: Snapchat versus Instagram Stories

Showdown: Snapchat versus Instagram Stories

When the Snapchat mobile app first debuted, business owners scratched their heads trying to imagine why anyone would want to post a message that disappeared after it was viewed. More puzzling was why any company would want to post temporary marketing messages that could not be accessed again.

Snapchat went on to amass millions of users and began making changes to their service to better support companies looking to use the app for marketing and branding purposes. Posts no longer had to disappear and could be included in public “Stories” then downloaded to a mobile device for posterity. Photos and videos posted to Stories were no longer limited to being viewed by just one person or a small group. Once Stories were downloaded to a device, they could also be uploaded to other social networks such as Instagram or YouTube.

One of the most popular features that defined Snapchat as a fun, messaging app is their selection of facial filters. Snapchat created an entirely new way for users to engage in self-expression by providing filters that alter or enhance faces in selfies such as a “dog” filter that adds dog ears, nose and a giant dog tongue to a person’s photo. Snapchat also helped popularize adding emoji and “stickers” or tiny cartoon-like graphics to photos to convey moods and messages. Snapchat’s Geofilters present filter options to add location, event or topic specific graphics to photos based on a user’s location or a special event such as the Super Bowl.

A few years after Snapchat launched, Facebook wanted to get in on the immediate and temporary messaging. After Snapchat rejected Facebook’s offer to buy them, Facebook added a new feature to the Instagram app, one of their acquisitions. The new feature, called “Stories,” has been labeled a copy of Snapchat “Stories.”

Here is a breakdown of both features and also why you’d want to use one over the other.

Snapchat

Over 100 million active users

Mostly a younger and millennial audience

60% under 25 years of age, 26% 25-34 years old, 12% are 35-54

Features

  • Post photos and video
  • Facial altering filters
  • Add stickers, emoji, Bitmoji (customized, personal emoji)
  • Overlay text onto images and video
  • Drawing tool to embellish photos and video
  • Geofilters and Event-based filters
  • Ability to download Stories

Instagram

Over 500 million active users

More women and teenage girls use the service versus males

55% are between 18 and 29, 28% are 30-49, 11% are 50-64

Features

  • Post photos and video
  • Add stickers and emoji to your images and video
  • Overlay text onto images and video
  • Drawing tool to embellish photos and video
  • Live video – something Snapchat does not have
  • Hands-free option – ability to make video without holding a button
  • Boomerang – ability to use this Instagram tool to make short, looped videos
  • Hyperlapse – ability to use this Instagram tool to make time-lapse videos
  • Ability to save Stories

Deciding between Snapchat and Instagram depends on several factors including determining the app used by your audience or the audience you’re trying to reach. If you already have a strong presence on Facebook or Instagram, sticking with Instagram and integrating Stories into your content publishing makes sense rather than starting from scratch on Snapchat. If you are already experimenting with Snapchat, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t also give Instagram Stories a try and compare the ease of use, features and engagement you get on each app.

As with any posting you do, find the right balance between planned and strategic posts and spontaneous, in the moment and behind-the-scenes post to tell a more complete story about your company. And if you aren’t comfortable using either app, bring on someone who feels comfortable with them and provide them with guidelines and direction to communicate your message using these popular multimedia social mobile messaging platforms.


Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman