Over the next few weeks Instagram is introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets users share all the moments of their day. These photos and videos will appear together in a slideshow format: story. It will disappear after a 24-hour time-frame. Sounds familiar? There is no coincidence in comparing Instagram Stories to the Snapchat application.

In fact even the Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom wouldn’t disagree with you. In an interview with Techcrunch he surprisingly admits – Snapchat deserves all the credit.

Snapchat is so popular now that it delivers roughly 7 billion mobile clips daily to its 100 million users. By comparison, Facebook delivers 8 billion mobile clips a day (not significantly more than Snapchat) by having 15 times bigger user base. Snapchat is officially a major player in video. No wonder, Instagram which is owned by Facebook, didn’t want to be left behind.

However what does it mean for the user? Particularly for brands, influencers and content marketers? Should you use Snapchat Stories? Instagram Stories? Or both?

Out of the blue, “behind-the-scenes” content and funny filters become part of your social media strategy. Brands are joining Snapchat in order to be relevant to their customers and be closer to them. And then Instagram Stories come into the picture.

Instagram Stories

If you have a decent audience on Snapchat it means that you have worked hard to build it. It’s not easy to find people to follow you. The only way to view a Snapchat story is to commit to adding the user to your friends and for that you have to know their username. And as you probably figured this out already, there is no tags search on Snapchat. That is why it’s quite common to add the Snapchat name to the Instagram Bio, teasing Snapchat content on Instagram or just posting an image of the Snapchat ghost.

To compare with, Instagram Stories are extremely public. You don’t need to be following someone to view their story. You can just tap the avatar on anyone’s Instagram profile to see what they’re up to.

If you are already a Snapchat addict, uploading Instagram Stories will not be a problem for you.

  1.    Click the plus arrow in the top left corner of your Instagram feed to start a new Story.
  2.    Tap on the circle button at the bottom of the screen to take a photo or hold it down to record a video.
  3.    To draw something on your photo or video, use the buttons in the top right corner.
  4.    To add a filter, swipe left or right to choose from 7 different options.
  5.    Tap the check mark at the bottom to add it to your Story.

The biggest advantage of Instagram Stories is that you don’t need to build a new audience. You can share Snapchat-like content with all your Instagram followers. However, Instagram hasn’t figured it out yet how to transmit super cool Snapchat filters that everyone just felt in love with. You can change colours and tones of the images on Instagram. Nevertheless it’s impossible to turn your head into a monster or a crying baby.

Instagram Stories

It’s hard to avoid the feeling that Instagram is not Snapchat. The interactions are different, the purpose is (or was?) different and most significantly – the target group is different. Instagram features our perfectly curated moments. Snapchat is more let’s say “real life”, where we share more fun moments (face swaps, selfie filters). In addition to this, 73 per cent of Snapchat users are millennials, while Instagram attacks a little bit older generation.

Instagram Stories are an easy way to engage with your followers. And for those brands which don’t particularly use Snapchat – will be exciting to start snapchatting on Instagram. It can be a good idea to even engage more – show new products, answer questions, maybe use it as customer service.

To help you make a decision – keep in mind that it’s not really about the numbers. It’s a;; about your community and engagement. Every brand, products and services are different. It really comes down to what’s best for your brand and your followers. If you already doing all right on Snapchat – keep it up. If your followers are a little bit older than Snapchat’s audience think over the Instagram strategy.

Learn about some tips how to increase social media engagement.

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