I was a chronic Snapchat user for the longest time until the company made the awful (subjective) update to the app back in 2018 that changed the way users viewed their friends’ stories and discovered new content. I totally get that they wanted to improve the design and make it easier for users, but there was a lot of hate and backlash, and to be honest I was one of those people. I solely used Snapchat to post stories while Instagram was used to just post pictures, but after this update, I went straight to Instagram stories and never looked back.
To this day, I am surprised that I still have Snapchat. Maybe the only reason is the fact that I like to use all the silly filters to make the kids in my family laugh every now and then.
Why does it matter that I stopped using Snapchat? Well I don’t think me myself and I moving stopping matters that much, but when you consider the fact that the company dropped from 191 daily active users to 188 million in 3 months since the redesign, you have to wonder whether the company is doing what’s best for themselves, or what’s best for their users.
Part of my job as a customer success manager at HubSpot is to strategize clients on how best garner attention to their product or service – one of the biggest components of that is leveraging social media to attract leads. But which is the better option when it comes to a photo and video sharing platform, Snapchat or Instagram? Instagram as of 9/2018 has 400 million daily active Stories users. Compared to Snapchat’s current 186 million daily active users, Instagram is clearly the more popular platform in terms of usage but this shouldn’t be the only factor that companies look at when deciding which of they two they should leverage.
One other thing to consider is your target audience (including user demographic) to determine which platform will have the best likelihood of reaching out to them. Another is the direction the company takes in terms of application development. Is Instagram or Snapchat releasing updates to actually improve the overall user experience, or are they not open to public opinion and stick with updates that are more catered to their agendas. If your target audience happens to be people outside of the U.S., Instagram may be a good fit because 80% live outside of the U.S. But if you are looking to target people that are under 25, who use this type of social media platform for almost an hour a day, Snapchat is your winner.
Let’s chat for a quick second about the perspective companies’ ad revenue. As we think about how important it is for companies to budget for their marketing spend, ads is a huge component that help to drive users towards a particular platform.
Worldwide advertising revenue of Snapchat from 2015 to 2019 (in million U.S. dollars)
Worldwide mobile internet advertising revenue of Instagram from 2015 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars)
With the projected 2.72 Billion U.S. dollars in ad revenue, marketers at companies may see that as a positive given that it most likely is a direct result from more users leaning towards Snapchat for advertisements. Regardless the marketer cannot base their decision which platform to advertise on solely on the lower price if that platform does not cater to the target audience.
There are ultimately, so many factors that go into making this decision, and depending on the company and its decision makers, certain factors will or will not matter. Now that Facebook owns Instagram, the integrations between the two allow post stories with the click of a button, whereas before one would have to download the video and upload it to the other platform. For me, that is a positive because I do tend to have family members that would never use Instagram and I’d like to have the ability to share my stories with them even if I post through Instagram. In addition, the design on Instagram is far superior in my eyes than Snapchat. Have you ever been in a situation where a random person adds you on Snapchat and you have no way of telling who that person is? I’m sure we’ve all been there, however, I’ve never had that problem of guessing who they are on Instagram. If a fake account adds me, one click into their profile and I know and can ignore. Either way the ability to see and explore before approving or denying someone’s request is a big plus over Snapchat. Being Facebook backed will of course give Instagram its advantages and disadvantages.
We have to remember though, that choosing either Snapchat or Instagram is only a supplement for social media in the overall marketing plan. No business is going to rely just on social posts (paid or not) on a regular basis to make money.
Knowing some stats listed earlier in this blog, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you had a business, would you choose Snapchat or Instagram to help with your marketing efforts? Why? Feel free to comment below or take this POLL! Until next time,