Instagram left many surprised after revealing its Instagram Stories feature this week. It’s kind of like Snapchat Stories, except it’s not Snapchat, it’s Instagram.
Well, to the general user this might be the case anyway. Instagram helps people stay “in the moment”, so this feels like a natural progression. I also believe that this feature will resonate with users and brands on Instagram.
However, the question in many businesses minds is whether this feature is useful, and which of these platforms has the superior offering. Let’s break down the two, and see how big a difference there really is, and which one you should be considering for your brand.
Round 1: Shooting a Story
Unlike Snapchat, Instagram allows you to access the camera for Stories by swiping from the left from your main feed or by tapping the plus sign in the top left corner of the app. It’s a bit more of a process than Snapchat, but still a quick navigation. Both apps also allow you to add videos up to 10 seconds long.
Round 2: Browsing Stories
Whilst it takes slightly longer to create a story, Instagram chose to put its stories front and centre. From a user on-boarding perspective, this is a great way to promote the feature and encourage user uptake.
All Stories appear at the top of your main feed in order of which friends are closest to you, as determined by an algorithm. On the flip side, Snapchat’s Stories are chronological. From a user perspective, chronological is better for reach to unengaged users, and sorting by relevance is better for your engaged users.
Round 3: Doodling and Media Editing
Snapchat users a slider for colours, Instagram lays them out side by side.
Instagram has more pen tools.
Snapchat has more emoji flexibility than Instagram in terms of placement and choice.
Winner: Tie. This section really the winner is on a profile by profile basis, depending on your style and requirements.
Round 4: Who can see them?
Snapchat and Instagram have pretty similar privacy settings for their respective stories features. Snapchat allows you to choose between ‘everyone’ or ‘friends’, whilst Instagram Stories have the same privacy as your main feed.
The big difference here being that the open network nature of Instagram allows more stories to be seen than currently on Snapchat. You can see some compelling results from Nike in this article on AdAge.
It’s still early days, and still room for a comeback.
Winner: Instagram (for now)
Round 5: Performance so far Instagram Stories
Whilst it’s still early days, it seems that the reach and viability of Instagram stories against Snapchat stories is far superior. BI Intelligence state in a recent article that in order for Snapchat to truly succeed, then they need to find a way to replicate Instagram. Instagram currently has clear strength in its dominating, open-network of content, users and communities.
In the outset, we can see that a few big brands have seen some awesome success. Nike generated 800K views in the first 24 hours for an Instagram Story. Compared to it’s previous best snapchat story amassing 66,000 views, it’s a daunting figure.
Our overall winner for the two stories features goes to Instagram, for it’s ability to take a proven concept for appeal and usage onto a hugely popular mass market. As a result, we would suggest that this might be your first step into stories (your brand is more likely on Instagram anyway, so an easier up-take).
This tool may be what you need to re-ignite engagement across your Instagram account, as over the last 12 months people have been experiencing a decline in ROI from this channel.
We look forward to filling you in over time on how this competition pans out.By | August 15th, 2016