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Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat…

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Since Tuesday, the Internet has been in a frenzy over the update to Instagram called Instagram Stories. If you haven't yet seen it, it's basically a way of adding un-edited photos and videos to a feed composed of a string of individual moments that your followers can view for only 24 hours. It's a very similar format to Snapchat—which has been the current favorite platform for teens and millennials…and a platform I just got into and liked after protesting it for so long.

So the question around town is…if you're into both Instagram and Snapchat, or if you follow people or brands on both platforms…what do you do now? Where do you check in on those more "real" tidbits of life or where do you post your own behind-the-scenes glimpses that you want to share?

I am still figuring out my own plan, but as a test for the past couple of days I have been sharing the same content I would normally share on Snapchat on Instagram Stories. That way I could test the waters and make an informed decision for myself and really know the differences from first-hand experience both as a sharer and a viewer. Here's my breakdown for you of the benefits of each…

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Things I like better about Snapchat

1. Filters! While filters are not at all necessary for the sharing of information, they make people kick back and not take things too seriously. It makes it easier for those who are nervous about talking to their camera to cover their face with some funny filter. My husband always says that if the people who invented the technology for those filters worked in the medical field we might have a cure for cancer by now! Because, yes, the filters are VERY good.

2. It feels more intimate. Because you have to actively add someone's exact username to follow them on Snapchat, these are people you want to be following and not people that you found by "exploring" or people you added just cause you met them once at a party. Because of the intention behind these "follows", you're probably following less people here than on Instagram. And, these are people that you want to know more about. Those that follow you here may be a smaller number than on Instagram, but they are the ones who really want to see more of the real you.

3. Ability to send stories directly to someone. I don't actually use the messaging part of Snapchat where you can send a snap ONLY to a certain person (it's like the text messaging part of it), but this was the original intent of Snapchat and a feature that it still has over its new competitor. 

4. Thumbnails preview someone's story. When you're viewing your feed of recent stories, the thumbnail shown gives an indication of their last snap. It's a very small detail but I do like this ability to be able to know what I'm about to watch.

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Things I like better about Instagram Stories

1. One less app to visit! While I have really been loving Snapchat lately, I can't say that I want one more thing to add to the social media cocktail that I consume and serve up on a daily basis.

2. Your current Instagram audience gets to see another side of you. A bit in contrast to the intimacy mentioned above about Snapchat, I find that people want to actually see more of the unedited side of people and brands on Instagram but don't either use Snapchat or forget to add them (since it's not an easy process to find people there). This gives you the chance to see their other side easily and it might actually help people (including myself) edit down who they follow.

3. Forward/Back controls when viewing stories. There are so many times I have viewed someone's Snapchat story only to want to go back to something I wanted to see again or screenshot. The "tap on right side of screen" to go forward and "tap on left side of screen" to go back thing is super useful.

4. You can see someone's "trailer". If you visit someone’s profile (either for the first time or to check up on their posts) and you can see their most recent story when their profile photo is outlined in color. It's a fun way to see what new people to your feed are up to or use it as a way to decide if you want to follow along. 

5. Easier to direct message. While I don't love having another message stream to maintain, I like that when there is a direct message stream, you can read the conversation beyond just the 24 hours. Sometimes you see messages in Snapchat too late or you didn't get to read it and it just disappears and then you have no idea the context of what was last said.

6. Usernames are the same. For me, sometimes I like to reference other people or brands in my stories so it's nice that if I mention someone's handle that it's clear it's the same as their Instagram handle.

Here's what I think will end up happening…

A. People who never got on Snapchat in the first place will start using Instagram Stories instead.

B. People who have been on Snapchat for a while and have a strong following will stay there.

C. Those who use the platforms for their brands might post on both but distinguish different content on each—perhaps more brand-related content on Instagram Stories and more personal content on Snapchat.

For me, I have yet to decide exactly what I'll do. But I'd love to hear what you guys think!

As viewers of content, which format do you prefer? Or if you are creating your own stories, which do you prefer?

P.S. A great article on TechCrunch about it.

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester}


  1. I’m one of the ones who never got into Snapchat and most likely never will. I already have enough to keep up with. I know a lot of bloggers I follow on insta have been using snapchat, but only because they tell me so on instagram 🙂 It felt like I was missing out on a lot of content, but that also wasn’t enough reason for me to add snapchat to my life. Personally, I’m excited about Stories and hope that people start to use it!

  2. I think it’s a great way for some people/brands to separate business and personal. IE, make Insta stories more businessy and keep Snapchat more personal! (or the other way around) I’m definitely into it. Excited to see how it moves along!

  3. I’ll still be using Snapchat to post stories (I only used Instagram stories to share my Snapchat username haha) but I think one advantage of Instagram stories is that you get a lot more views.

  4. As someone who couldn’t get into Snapchat, I will agree that now that IG has stories, I won’t be using Snapchat. I am looking forward to building my account more with this new feature!

  5. I like both! The great thing about IG stories is that it doesn’t drain your battery like Snapchat does. I liked hearing what you thought about this! 🙂

  6. I’m undecided how I feel about Stories vs Snapchat. I do love that my Snapchat feed feels more personal and intentional. I follow only the people I actively want to follow, so digesting content is usually more enjoyable since I’m actively seeking it out. Plus, I love the filters and preview icon (like you mentioned)!
    However, there are some strong advantages to Stories. I found it really refreshing to see a more personal side of people I follow on Instagram randomly. If anything, it made me aware of a few people I’d like to follow on Snapchat! However, it’s a little awkward not “knowing” so many of the people posting their personal lives on Stories…usually this means bloggers or accounts I follow because they have gorgeously curated feeds. This could also apply to a creative entrepreneur behind a feed I follow because I primarily like their products. Since I follow SO many more people on Instagram, it takes me nearly 4x as long to get through all the stories. I’m the type of person who hates notifications and alerts, so I get antsy when there are so many stories that need watching. Plus, by the time I get through them all there are even more to digest. I’ve seriously considering scaling back on who I follow on Instagram now.
    A huge pro to Stories though is that I can easily go back and rewatch something immediately by pushing to the left hand side. I also like at the top how you can see exactly how many videos are in a story. With Snapchat it can be hard to tell if there are 20 snaps or just 2 in a single story, with Instagram I instantly know right off the bat.

  7. I love your snapchat. Its more personal too watch. Instagram is harder to navigate. Please come back to snapchat 🙂

  8. I haven’t actually tried Instagram satires yet because I wanted to watch other peoples first and decide how i felt about it as a viewer before anything else. So far, I actually kinda like it. I think they still have some kinks to work out, especially in terms of the design and how it appears on the screen. But I have noticed less Snapchat stories on my feed!
    XO Helen

  9. I prefer snapchat to Instagram stories. I like that the type of content is separate. I don’t see myself actually looking at Instagram stories so I’ll lose out on the snapchat content I liked if people leave it.

  10. I never got into snapchat but I can already see myself using Stories. The big drawback for me with snapchat was the effort of maintaining yet another social media account. I like that IG has it all in one place and you can choose to just not click on the Stories if you don’t care to see them.

  11. I’ve missed you on snapchat. I wish you could unfollow some people’s instagram stories because there are some people I like their IG feed, but not their stories so I’m annoyed that it’s in the top bar. I’ve liked that some bloggers have said they will put some content on IG and then snapchat will just stay the more personal stuff. Overall I feel like snapchat is easier to keep up with maybe because I have less ‘friends’ there.

  12. I just got into Snapchat and I still like it better. I feel like you can be a lot more creative with it, using stickers and filters inspire me to come up with more interesting videos. From what I have seen so far of Instagram stories is a lot of the retailers and businesses are doing more rehearsed videos and ‘corporate office tours’ both which feel inauthentic. Its too bad Instagram had to flat out copy Snapchat and couldn’t come up with a more unique platform. I already follow too many people on Instagram and I don’t think I can keep up with both photos and videos now.

  13. I will continue to use snap chat only because I agree with you that it is more intimate and I get to choose who I do want to follow. The Instagram stories is hard to navigate but I guess just needs some time to get used to.

  14. I LOVE snapchat! People don’t take themselves too seriously. (And that butterfly filter!!!) Also, I can check snapchat and be done quickly so it’s not as much of a time suck. When I look at IG I expect to see beautiful, inspirational images, so it’s just a different mindset for me. I haven’t really been checking IG stories regularly.

  15. It took me awhile to get into Snapchat, but now I love it and think it’s a very easy app to use. Adding Instagram Stories makes Instagram feel really clunky and cluttered. Scrolling through Instagram feels so peaceful to me and scrolling through Instagram Stories does not. I like to be able to choose my level of visual stimulation!
    And I also like that I can pick and choose who I follow on Snapchat. I don’t like that I see everyone’s story on Instagram. Some of those people I just want to see their photos, not their stories.
    Thanks for sharing your perspective on these kinds of things!

  16. I don’t have anything to say re IG Stories because I went on a break from it back in January, that i didn’t realize I’d be so into 8 months later. That being said, I love the “unfiltered” feel and genuineness of snapchat. it feels like i’m touching base with a friend at some point in the day. for instance, viewing your snapchat content has allowed me a window into who you are as a creator, designer, etc. i really value that. it increases my interest in you and your work; and quite frankly, it has motivated me to carve out time to visit your blog on a more regular basis. i’m more interested in your projects and reading what you have to say on matters because i had a peek into the background, as opposed to when i was following you on IG. perhaps snapchat is also much more visually stimulating. after spending so many hours staring at a computer and various colors, etc., filters begin to all look the same, but IG lenses are a bit more fun to look at. they’re engaging. and i love the limited text count (who wants to have to read another paragraph of credits or mentions??) every post is just another photo seeking to compel me to buy into someone’s brand or business. it reads: marketing ploy; there’s nothing personal. I have missed you, your team and all your stories on snapchat. I hope you continue to stay. xx

  17. I definitely prefer snapchat. I don’t necessarily want to see snaps from all of the people I follow on instagram. I mostly skip through people’s instagram stories because it is stuff I am in interested in seeing.

  18. Remember Vine ? When it became possible to share little films on Instagram, everyone forgot about Vine… will the same happen to Snapchat?
    Personally, I think the filters are EVERYTHING. They are (one of) the reason(s) I look at Snapchat everyday. Besides, I feel that people are so much more genuinely fun on Snapchat than on IG so far.
    I wish IG would be more original, and try to create something new, instead of just copying their competitors.

  19. I completely agree with everything Ashlee said above. I think I will for sure stick to Snapchat. I love that I can view my snapchat stories fairly quickly because I don’t follow near the amount of people I do on Instagram, and it does give you a more intimate feel, not knowing how many followers that person has on there. I have honestly been using IG way less since I got Snapchat over a year ago. It’s just gotten to the point that I feel like nothing on IG is real life and/or feels like an advertisement for something. It just doesn’t excite me like it used to. So I’d rather not wade through the hundreds of stories over there to find what I’m looking for, especially if it is likely not as “raw” as snapchat. (This also tells me I need to go through and do a major IG purge!)

  20. I look forward to your snaps every day, and having snapchat’s filters makes your stories alot more personal and fun. Instagram stories seem to get lost at the top and I’m not able to find the ones I actually want to see. I say keep the snapchat for behind the scens and personal stuff and Instagram stories for more promotional material. 🙂 Now come back to Snap!!

  21. I don’t use Snapchat that much (I only use those filters for fun, but not to share) so the new feature of Instagram Stories doesn’t interest me at all, and I don’t have any decent opinion for both these application ((:
    But it’s still fun to see some people that I follow on Instagram share about the other side of them, just like you said. But againnnn… this morning when I found out so many stories that has been shared on my timeline, they’re just too much. We’ll see how long can Instagram go with this feature!
    Anyway, thank you for your fun sharing, Joy! <3

  22. I’ve really enjoyed the new Stories feature, BUT like you said I follow a lot of people on Instagram and it feels a little overwhelming to see everyone’s stories. It does also take me a while to scroll through the names to find my favorites, such as YOU. lol Needless to say, I’ve missed you over in the Snapchat world these few days. Hahaha

  23. But I will add…some people who I really enjoy following their Instagram feed have started to use stories even though they didn’t have a snapchat before and it’s fun to see another side of them…so I guess it’s a win/win.

  24. I honestly love instagram stories because I like having everything in one place! I also never really got into snapchat even though I had an account. It was just one more thing to worry about.
    However instagram has started freezing since they added it. It’s really annoying.

  25. I have a windows phone, as a result I can’t use snapchat. The app simply doesn’t exist for windows phones. So far I really enjoyed the new stories feature on Instagram. I now (kinda) get to experience snapchat for the first time.
    Maxime |

  26. Ugh! I find the Snapchat design so ugly and not very user friendly at all. I tried a couple of times to do some snaps or follow someone, and it was a pain in the backside.
    Now that Insta-stories is here, I can have fun right there with my already developed audience, and not stress about different content for different platforms. Also, I think Instagram really nailed it with their ease of use.
    And I couldn’t care less about Snapchat’s silly filters.

  27. I trialed Snapchat for a couple of days a while but couldn’t get into it so removed it again. Because I know a few of my favourite brands and bloggers use Snapchat, I felt I was missing out somehow so am really loving the fact that I can now watch their stories on Instagram if I choose to without having to keep track of another social media app.
    Loving your Insta stories! Hope you’ll keep it up!

  28. I never got into snapchat and never will. IG is the extent of my social media usage, and to me, it’s by far the best platform out there. It sounds nice that the snapchat functionality is now on IG. Pls get rid of snapchat so that we can all have one less platform/app to think/scroll/tap through.

  29. I’ve used Snap maybe 3 times, never got into it, and confused how to use it even though I hear it is so good! The IG stories are fun, but the name isn’t too catchy is it! I bet you good money that the filters are coming, no way that Mark Z would not pony up. As a user, I have no idea what content makes for a IG good story, so my struggle lies there to really give it a go. But, I enjoy the more authentic stuff that is less curated on IG stories 🙂


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