6 Reasons Why Instagram Beats Snapchat Hands Down

The battle between Snapchat and Instagram has been closely watched by brands and marketers alike. While the former still enjoys some popularity with teenagers and celebrities, Instagram has gained considerable ground against Snapchat in recent times.

A recent Social Media Examiner survey reported that just 7% of marketers have a presence on Snapchat, compared with 54% on Instagram.

So why is Instagram beating Snapchat in the social media race? This article will break down just why you need to ditch Ghostface Chillah and embrace the #Instalife.



Instagram gives you a bigger audience...

First and foremost, let’s crunch the numbers. Instagram currently boasts an astonishing 800 million daily active users. To put that in perspective, that’s almost three times the size of population of the US. And it’s growing too. Since September of last year, Instagram grew by 200 million followers, and it shows no sign of slowing down either.

Snapchat, however, claims just 188 million daily active users, a paltry figure when compared to Instagram. And their growth too is just as insignificant, with just a few million new users arriving each quarter. Indeed, between the first and second quarter of this year, the number of new users actually dropped by 3 million.

Ultimately, bigger is better. So why limit yourself with a smaller audience when you can supersize your reach?



...And a more diverse one as well

But it’s not all about reaching as many people as possible. It’s also about reaching as many different types of people too.

Snapchat’s audience base is primarily made up of teenagers, with 78% of all US teens using the app. While there will certainly be brands out there whose target audience is solely teenagers, most businesses know the importance of reaching a customer base that spans different ages and demographics.

Instagram on the other hand boasts a more diverse range of users. While its primary audience is those aged between 18-29, the second highest number of users are aged 30-49. For brands wishing to reach a wider variety of different customer segments on a single platform, Instagram is definitely the one.



Instagram offers better discoverability to get your brand seen

For brands, it’s not enough to simply create a dazzling Instagram page and expect your audience to flock to it. It’s about creating channels that let new customers discover you.

Instagram is a leader when it comes to social discoverability. As well as classic features such as hashtags, they also introduced geotags for brands to engage local followers in specific regions. On top of this, last year Instagram updated their app to show targeted recommended posts to users, a massive boost for brands wishing to reach customers in a natural way via their photo feed. The posts are clearly marked as ads, but their style blends seamlessly into the other content on their feed.

Snapchat, however, lacks such slick discoverability features. Users aren’t able to view brand content without first adding them, and the only way to grow your Snapchat presence is, paradoxically, by promoting it on other social networks.

But competing social platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, have taken steps to prevent this. Brands and individuals can no longer include links to Snapchat profiles in their bios or posts, essentially suffocating the platform. Unless Snapchat takes rapid steps to avoid this, Instagram will continue to reign supreme.



Instagram provides more marketing channels for your brand

And this lack of discoverability leads to another problem too. If it’s difficult to browse content on Snapchat, it means that it’s also difficult for brands to get their ads seen by potential customers. You could create the best advert in the world, but if people aren’t going to naturally find it, then it’s a wasted effort.

Instagram outshines Snapchat in this respect. As well as nailing dynamic Stories ads, Instagram offers other ad formats that can effectively engage consumers. On top of single or carousel image posts that appear in a person’s photo feed, brands can also create promoted videos too.

With more features set to roll out soon including Instagram TV, the photo-sharing platform continues to offer a much wider (and more effective) range of channels for marketers.



Instagram encourages and embraces direct selling

While social media offers brands a range of benefits, from increasing brand awareness to building email lists, perhaps the main reason for developing an online presence is to simply drive traffic (and therefore sales) to your online store.

Instagram have jumped on social selling with vigor. As well as in-app website access via Stories, Instagram also introduced Shoppable posts for customers to make purchases without ever leaving the app.

Unfortunately, Snapchat was a little late to the ecommerce party. In an attempt to break into the ecommerce scene, they unveiled their Paperclip feature allowing users to link to websites on the app. While it’s a step in the right direction, it’s still too early to say whether this will be as popular as Instagram’s selling options.

The importance of being able to drive ecommerce sales through social platforms cannot be underestimated. Indeed, Instagram has facilitated a new breed of ecommerce entrepreneurs who buy up stores and flip them for profit through direct selling. It’s a sign not only of the democratization of ecommerce, but also of the vital role that social media now plays not only in driving traffic and sales, but actually creating brands.



Instagram gives you double the features in one place

Finally, Instagram simply gives you more bang for your proverbial buck. When Snapchat first arrived on the scene in 2011, the world was smitten with its ephemeral nature. No other significant social platform offered temporal images that disappeared once they were seen, and it filled a niche that people didn’t realize existed.

But then in 2012, Instagram was bought by Facebook, and everything changed. It cannibalized (and improved upon) the best elements of Snapchat and refined their already hugely popular photo-sharing features. In doing so, Instagram swiftly surpassed Snapchat in terms of user experience and deliverables.

When Instagram offers not only the same features as Snapchat but better ones, plus other great qualities that their audience loves, why use both? Rather than spreading themselves thin across multiple platforms, brands are better off simply sticking to Instagram instead.



Every dog has its day, and Snapchat is one dog that doesn’t look like it will be learning any new tricks anytime soon. When Instagram offers everything that Snapchat does and more, why bother with it? Save time, money, and effort, and focus your brand’s marketing efforts on Instagram.

Victoria Greene is a marketing consultant and writer. With several years of experience working in ecommerce and marketing, she now shares her knowledge online at her blog, Victoria Ecommerce. Vicky is passionate about using her experience to help others achieve success in their ecommerce ventures.

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