Rewind & Review is my take on current digital marketing and Public Relations innovations that were trends just a few weeks ago. In posts like this, I’ll recap their launch and show measure of their success since inception from the beginning to the present.

At first we all said, “WTF” when Instagram Stories was released – you can deny it all you want, but you definitely at some point thought, “Wow, what a rip-off of Snapchat.” I know I definitely had this thought, but as we have progressed and seen some of the results, we started to think, “Is this BETTER than Snapchat?!” To be honest, I’m still not sure but what I have noticed is that each platform respectively wins in certain categories when compared to one another.

In all fairness, Instagram Stories did pull a lot of its own innovative features and some from Snapchat, but from the way we use them (specifically brands) you can see both platforms may seem similar but have different goals for reaching their audience.

Winning Filters: Snapchat

As artsy as Instagram is with its normal photo filters, Snapchat still remains the leader in the filter category since they have the geo-filter capability. Using geo-filters still connects us to the Snapchat we’re viewing because we sit there and say, “Hey I know that place!” or “Wait they’re in New York? Me too!” Instagram Stories doesn’t have that option which is why I think Snapchat still holds the win for filters.

Winning Branded Content: Instagram Stories

No matter how hard brands try to create well-branded content on Snapchat, something about Instagram Stories seems more sophisticated and brand-friendly. Snapchat is more of a behind-the-scenes kind of app that feels more intimate while Instagram Stories still holds the same conceptual posting guidelines as any other Instagram photo. Instagram is supposed to be used for posting “in the moment,” but often people will take several photos before finding the perfect one that’s Insta-worthy. The photos we post to Instagram are strategically thought-out and aren’t just snapped and posted. We put much more thought behind them, which is why with the capability of telling a quality story with Instagram Stories, brands are finding much success with strategically branded content. 

Winning Social Engagement: Snapchat

As I said before, Instagram is a strategic platform not just for the people posting, but for those who are also following. We usually think twice before deciding to follow someone because of the following and follower ratio rule. If it looks like we don’t have enough followers and we follow more people than out follower count, the account is considered weak and has less engagement. Snapchat is a less formal platform where ratios don’t matter because following isn’t a publicly posted number – the only one who knows how many people follow you or see your story is you, the user. Something about this makes us less likely to shy away from following someone since the number really only matters for you if you’re a social influencer approached by a brand that wants to see what kind of follower-ship they’re working with… or if you care.

Winning Quality Follower-ship: Instagram Stories

I’ve probably said it a million times by now, but Instagram is strategic which means, the followers that are on that platform are loyal to the brands they follow. These are the followers that truly take the time to appreciate thoughtful content creation and are more likely to view it. Since Instagram Stories is also easier to navigate through the physical story itself with features like holding down to view something longer, swiping backwards to see the previous clip and swiping forward to skip the story altogether it eliminates things that bother us about Snapchat (not enough time to view a story and not being able to swipe back and instead see the whole story again). Followers appreciate that Instagram Stories respects their time and longing to take more than 10 seconds to view something.

Overall Winner: Instagram Stories

I have to say it and I’m sure some of the IG haters will disagree with me, but I think right now Instagram Stories is currently #winning with social media in comparison to Snapchat. While we all love our goofy dog filters and flower crowns on Snapchat, we can still save and post these on Instagram Stories. We see more thoughtfully curated content from brands on Instagram Stories and we see more loyal followers and brand advocates on Instagram Stories.

So now that I’ve shared my opinion with you, which platform do you think is the real winner here?