Just when I thought I had my social media content figured out Instagram threw a curveball. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of this week’s introduction of Instagram Stories, the platform’s solution to compete with Snapchat. When I first saw the new feature I’ll admit, I wanted to hide under my covers. I couldn’t wrap my head around sharing content on yet another social media platform. So I enlisted some of my social media savvy pals to share their thoughts. Here’s what we came up with:
Instagram is brilliant.
You have to give credit to a business that sees a market and makes it work for them. I remember toying with Vine but the minute Instagram introduced video years ago I immediately ended my Vine account. My social media expert friend Mario Moreno explained that “although this was a complete and blatant copy of Snapchat, I think Instagram is smart to do this as they have a much larger audience globally and have made it so Instagram is a one-stop shop. It doesn’t interfere with the highly produced aspect of Instagram but still has that distinction.”
I have to agree. Personally, it’s easier for me to utilize the following I’ve worked so hard to grow on Instagram rather than continuing to brainstorm new ways to build my Snapchat followers. But the question remains, are my Instagram followers even interested in my real-time life?
Snapchat might have a more engaged audience.
The beauty of Snapchat is you only follow people you want to see. My pal Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior aka Snapchat queen (vote for her for the Snapchat Bloglovin’ award!) summed it up very well. “I may follow 405 people but that doesn’t mean I want to see their Instagram stories every day. On Snapchat I only follow around 25 people!” she said. “Those numbers alone should show you that there is a difference between Instagram and Snapchat and I do not feel that by adding a feature that it will take those differences away.”
My friend Ashley Torres of Pursuit of Shoes agreed. “It’s much more personal and a truly engaged audience,” she said of Snapchat. “Someone has to actively follow you, which means they are genuinely interested.” The interest is key here.
“The last I want to do is piss off my readers,” Jacey added. “Not everyone wants to see what I eat for breakfast or what face mask I’m testing out. There are different types of content that I offer on my Instagram feed vs. my Snapchat feed. I understand and respect that Instagram is trying to bring that ‘real time’ back to their platform and offer an inside look behind users feeds, but I think they need to offer followers the option to see this information.”
But there is more engagement on Instagram.
The first day I uploaded an Instagram story, it had five times the amount of views than my average Snap. Unless you’ve built a huge following on Snapchat, it’s more likely that you have a bigger audience on Instagram. My friend Cuit Gonzalez, an incredible PR and digital brand strategist in LA said that between the large following factor and the convenience of staying on one platform, “Snapchat is getting a run for its money.”
From a business side, he also had a very good point. “I feel like we’re finally at a point where most people are comfortable with how we—brands and influencers—monetize on Instagram. So, instead of trying to find a way to monetize a new platform like Snapchat, it’s going to be much easier to incorporate Instagram Stories into a ‘package’ when thinking of collaborations.”
We all want filters.
While Instagram stories has a few filters and a fun neon tool, they don’t have dogs, aliens, cats, flower crowns and all the other fun filters Spachat provides. Some think this is the big difference between the platforms. “I don’t think that Instagram Stories will take off quite like Snapchat because the filters are nowhere near as fun,” Sarah Boyd of Simply Stylist told me. “I like keeping Instagram for just beautiful photos and Snapchat for craziness. Perhaps that will change once Instagram ups their game but right now I see no competition.”
Others, are ok giving up the filters for the simplicity aspect of Instagram Stories. “I like having everything in one place and it’s nice to already be following all of the people I’m connected with on Instagram,” Michelle Madsen of Take Aim said. “I guess is just seems a little simpler to me! But I will definitely miss the dog filter.”
If you can’t live without filters, you can always film a story on Snapchat then upload it to Instagram Stories. It’s a little more time consuming so I’ve yet to try it but a ton of influencers have been doing this.
“Sure, Snapchat has unique features that Instagram Stories does not,” Cuit added. “But do they outweigh the convenience and greater engagement most people are experiencing?”
Is there time to enjoy life anymore?
One interesting point that my friend Caitlin Lindquist of Dash of Darling brought up is that with so many real-time platforms now, it’s hard to just enjoy life in real time. With lot of people now posting on both Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Caitlin says “I do worry “that ‘life casting’ may become mainstream behavior, and people will stop enjoying those special moments they can’t wait to share by pulling out their phones. Including me. I hate to miss out as both platforms are so huge.”
Essentially, time will only tell. But I think it’s good to get the conversation going. I’d love to hear from you guys about what you think of the Instagram vs Snapchat battle!
- Are you excited about Instagram stories?
- Will you still use Snapchat?
- What type of real-time content do you want to see on Instagram versus Snapchat?
And here are everyone’s Instagram and Snapchat handles so you can follow along on whatever platform you decide to watch…
Ashley Torres @pursuitofshoes / @pursuitofshoes
Caitlin Lindquist @caitlinclairexo / @dashofdarling
Cuit Gonzalez @mrcuit / @mrcuit
Jacey Duprie @damselindior / @damselindior
Mario Moreno @followmario / @followmario
Michelle Madsen @michelletakeaim / @michelletakeaim
Sarah Boyd @sarahpboyd / @simplystylistxo
Sydne Summer @sydnesummer / @sydnesummer
Photo by Jodee Debes
If you have any topics you want covered in future columns let me know!