P4 Group: Blog Post

Instagram vs. Snapchat

The power of knowing the difference!

In the age of social media, marketing and promotion on online platforms is common knowledge. Hash tags and re-grams are spread across the insta-sphere, linking consumers to brands, movements, organisations and individuals. This brings the relationship between a brand and their consumers closer together – allowing instant feedback, easily followed trends and accessible data analysis. But which social platform will suit your brand? Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, depending on the unique aspects of your brand. So here are five ways these platforms differ, and how you can make the most of these differences.

Share your story!

Both platforms allow instant but temporary photo and video sharing that disappears after 24 hours. This ‘story’ function involves editing capabilities that can add creativity to a simple shot or selfie. The difference between these on each platform is simple.

The Instagram ‘Story’ is front and centre on the opening page of the app. Drawing the eye, and allowing stories of interest to appear first based on an algorithm. Instagram is all about OTHERS, with scrolling through the posts of those you follow allowing an instant and high quality connection to content. This makes Instagram ideal for ‘flash back’ campaigns, instant sharing and the creation of a clear visual image.

Meanwhile, Snapchat is all about the user. Opening to a front-camera screen, the user is prioritised over the stories page, which is two swipes away.  Snapchat stories are listed chronologically beginning with the most recent, rather than based on an interest algorithm. Snapchat in this way often suits individual brand images, following of events and a casual and down-to-earth approach to promotion.

Make connections!

A key difference in the platforms is how they connect. Instagram has the capability to link to new platforms, share hash tags, tag others, include website links in bios and connect directly to Facebook.

Whereas for Snapchat, it is its own destination. Whilst it now has the capability to link to well-known media sources such as Cosmopolitan or the Daily Mail, these organisations require their own brand deals to promote your content. Along with this, hash tags do not link and Snapchat images or videos cannot be shared directly to any other platform.

Ads, Ads, Ads!

Both platforms now offer advertising. Meaning that in between Snapchat stories or Instagram posts, sponsored content will appear for users. Of course these can simply be skipped or scrolled passed, but it also strengthens to potential growth of viewers and consumers.

Access is key!

To search or not to search, that is the question. Snapchat needs users to actively search and add the accounts of others. This can be down through searching usernames or the new ‘Snap-to-add’ feature which connects people through an in-app QR code. Through active promotion of the Snapchat QR code, more consumer interaction can be promoted – but often with not as much ease as Instagram.

Meanwhile, Instagram accounts can be public. Meaning they’ll appear in the ‘explore’ tab and can be accessed through the searching of hash tags. They can also be shared on Facebook and online platforms such as blogs and websites, subsequently allowing the content to reach a broader audience.

Filters & Geofilters!

The benefits of Snapchat are in the continual pop-culture trends! Who can get over the adorable dog filter? Or the ability to add a geo-filter for your event or location? These features add intrigue due to the social interest surrounding them.

Whilst Instagram provides filters in their posting function, they also jumped on the ‘story’ band wagon and provide editing options within the insta-story function. These popular trends tend to fall into the millennial demographic, with less than 17% of Snapchat users not being within that age bracket. Whilst Instagram, whilst popular amongst today’s youth, is growing in popularity with other demographics as well.

So weigh up the benefits and downfalls. Each platform has the power to influence a market – it all depends on the consumer!

Instagram Snapchat
·       ‘Story’ function

·       Stories on opening page of app

·       Stories appear based on interest algorithm

·       Connects to Facebook

·       Links to webpages

·       Hash tags

·       ‘Explore’ capability

·       Sponsored content

·       Public access

·       Creative functions

·       Filters

·       Access via phones, tablets and computers

·       Broader user demographic

·       ‘Story’ function

·       Stories not on opening page of app

·       Stories chronological

·       Links to media sources (e.g. Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail)

·       Advertisements

·       In-app QR code

·       Pop-culture influence

·       Filters

·       Geo-filters for events, locations and holidays

·       Phone and tablet access only

·       Majority millennial users


So which way do you go? Well, that all depends on you.

Written by Meg Gillespie whilst at P4 Group

Link to the edited article:



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