Instagram vs Snapchat: Which Is Better for Business?

Many companies make the mistake of trying to be everywhere at once, when they would get a far better return on investment just by sticking to one or two platforms they know their audience is a part of and doing those well.

Instagram is a free online photo-sharing App and social network platform. it was founded in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012. Users can edit and upload photos and short videos through a mobile app. They can add a caption to each of their posts and use hashtags along with location-based geotags index supposed and make them searchable by other users within the app.

Snapchat, on the other hand, is a mobile app that allows users to send and receive self-destructing photos and videos. Photos and videos taken within the app are called snaps. The nurse can draw or insert text on their snap and determine how many seconds the recipient can review it before the files and Spears. Messages can only be used once and during viewing. The recipient must maintain contact with the device’s touch screen or the snap disappears. It was developed in 2011.

In response to Snapchat popularity, both Facebook and Instagram added a similar feature call Stories which disappear from the platform within 24 hours.

So, which one is better for business? Let’s take a look at six key areas so you can decide which platform would work better for you.

1. Users and Demographics

Instagram has more than 500 million daily users, with more than one billion monthly active users, and Snapchat on the other hand only has 310.7 million monthly active users and 190 million daily active users.

  • 52% of Instagram users are females, and 42% are male.
  • 110 million Instagram users are from the United States. 43% of American women and 31% of American men use the platform.
  •  37% of adults use Instagram in the United States and the USA has the most number of Instagram users.
  •  32% of all internet users are on Instagram.
  •  31% of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 use Instagram and 32% of Internet users between the ages of 25 and 34 use Instagram.
  •  72% of teenagers use Instagram. 35% of us teenagers say Instagram is the preferred social media platform.
  • An estimated 71% of us businesses are on Instagram as of 2018.
  • 200 million+ Instagrammers visit at least one business profile every day.
  • 130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month.

In contrast:

  • 24% of U.S. social media users use Snapchat.
  • 73% of 18 to 24-year-olds in the U.S. use Snapchat
  • 75% of Snapchat users are younger than 34-years-old
  • 90% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 24-years-old
  • 69% of U.S. teenagers say they use Snapchat
  • 24% of U.S. adults use Snapchat.
  • 61% of Snapchat users are female while 38% are male.
  • People under the age of 25 use Snapchat for an average of 40 minutes a day.

According to a Facebook survey the most popular topics on Instagram among young adults are food, fashion and Beauty, Hobbies, music, and TV and films. Instagram users tend to follow celebrities, get do-it-yourself inspiration and look at Travel photos.

Research shows that 71% of Snapchat users use it only or mostly for peer-to-peer messaging. 60% of the interactions on Snapchat are made between close friends. 46% of Snapchat users in the United States don’t use Instagram.

2. Content Types

Instagram posts are usually polished and high-resolution photos while Snaps are generally unedited and raw.

Stories are available on both platforms. They can either be images or videos. Besides Stories, images and videos are the other types of content available on both platforms. But, they are displayed differently between the two.

Images and videos are published as posts on Instagram and snaps on Snapchat. Unless your Instagram account is private, posts are public. Snaps are mostly private between two accounts.

Instagram posts can be square, vertical, or horizontal. Snaps are usually a vertical because they are displayed in full screen.

Instagram posts remain on your profile in your feed but snaps disappear after 24 hours.

When it comes to Instagram Stories, people are beginning to post more unedited content there than they would in their feeds.

3. Engagement Rates

Comparing engagement levels between the two platforms is a bit tricky because the forms of engagement across the two are different. On Instagram, people like, comment, and watch a video. On Snapchat people view a snap and reply privately.

It’s impossible to compare engagement levels as a whole but it is worth looking at the engagement level of Stories because Stories are on both platforms and similar and how they behave.

A report from TechCrunch indicates the businesses are seeing higher engagement rates with Instagram Stories than Snapchat Stories.

Analyzing 21,500 Snapchat Stories found that the average unique viewers per Snapchat Stories fell about 40% in 2016 after Instagram launched their Stories. The Amplify Influencer Community saw 28% higher view rates for Instagram Stories than Snapchat Stories.

4. Discoverability

It will be easier for people to discover your brand on Instagram. It’s important to look at three areas in regards to discoverability: your profile, engagement, and user-generated content.

 On Instagram, you have a public profile that shows your follower count and all of your posts. Instagram suggests profiles to follow and curates relevant content in the Discover tab which helps people find you.

 With Snapchat, your profile can only be viewed by friends and people who have added you. There’s not a lot of information on your Snapchat profile because the snaps at Stories you post disappear after 24 hours.

With Instagram, likes and comments on your post can be seen by everyone. Direct messages can only be seen by you.

On Snapchat, there’s not a lot of room for engagement because only you can see who has replied to your snaps or Stories.

When it comes to user-generated content, on Instagram, people, including yourself can find any post that mentions you. People can discover your profile through hashtags and  @mentions. Because of this, user-generated content is a common marketing strategy on Instagram because it can help you grow your account and increase your reach.

 Comparatively, on Snapchat, snaps or Stories and it’s in your brand can only be seen by the friends of the person who posted them.

Your brand is more discoverable on Instagram than on Snapchat. This is wonderful if you want to raise brand Awareness on social media and use social proof to build your brand. That said, there are many brands who prefer the privacy of Snapchat because it allows them to build more meaningful one-to-one relationships with their followers.

5. Ads

When it comes to ads, both platforms offer powerful targeting options along with several ad formats. Instagram launched its advertising platform in late 2015 and since then has seen the number of businesses that advertise on the platform growth over a million. Because Instagram is part of Facebook, these businesses have been easily able to create Instagram ads through the Facebook ad manager.

 In the beginning, Snapchat advertising used to be fairly inaccessible for most businesses. Other than using SnapChat geofilters, businesses that wanted to advertise on Snapchat had to purchase ads from Snapchat ad partners which were often cost-prohibitive. Earlier this year, Snapchat launched its self-serve Snapchat ad manager to make it easy for businesses to run ads on Snapchat themselves.

Using either of the ad manager as you can easily create a target audience for your ads based on factors such as behaviors, interests and demographics. You can also reach people using your own data such as people who have interacted with your business and the platform’s data such as users who look like your customers.

Both platforms offer a variety of ad formats. with Instagram, you can run ads in feeds, ads in Stories, or boost your existing posts. With Snapchat, you can run snap ads, use geofilters or lenses.

6. Analytics

The ability to measure and analyze your social media performance allows you to improve your social media marketing efforts. Instagram natively provides business profiles with Instagram Insights which is an in-app analytics platform for posts, Stories, ads, and followers.

 Snapchat, on the other hand, does not provide any analytics data except for ads and many marketers have been left to track their Snapchat marketing activity manually.

There are a number of third-party tools and free Instagram analytics options available such as Union Metrics, Keyhole, and Websta.

When you go looking for Snapchat analytics tools, there are fewer to choose from and they aren’t free. Snaplytics, one of the most popular Snapchat analytics tools costs $19 per month per Snapchat account for very basic metrics such as completion rate, screenshots, and views.

Just by looking at this comparison, it’s clear that Instagram seems to be the better choice. However, it’s important to consider which platform your target audience prefers. If you are targeting students, young adults and teenagers, it may be more effective to reach them on Snapchat rather than Instagram.

And because a huge percentage of Snapchat users aren’t on Instagram, being on Snapchat could be the only way to reach them.