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Instagram vs. Snapchat: Which Is the Better Choice for Marketers?

When Instagram debuted Instagram Stories in 2016, it put the social media site head to head with Snapchat. Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories are automatically deleted 24 hours after they’re added.

On the surface, the two offerings might look similar, but one stands out when it comes to marketing. Get the details so you’ll know which one to use for your marketing needs.

Engagement Rates

Engagement is one of the most important metrics for marketers. To engage people, there has to be an audience in place. That’s a big problem for Snapchat. Snapchat had 166 million daily users as of May 2017. Compare that to the 250 million people who were using Instagram Stories in June 2017, and it’s clear to see that the audience is on Instagram.

It’s not just a matter of having a large audience, either. The people using Instagram tend to be very engaged. The open rate is 28 percent higher than on Snapchat. That means Instagram wins hands down when it comes to engagement.


Geo-targeting is becoming increasingly popular online, even for national businesses. Marketers know they can increase response rates by reaching out to people based on location. Instagram makes geo-targeting easy with Location and Hashtag Stories. You can add hashtags and geotags to your Instagram Stories. You can also see local content from others.

Snapchat allows users to search for local Snapchat Stories, but it’s not nearly as user friendly as Instagram is. If you’re interested in geo-targeting, Instagram is a must. The process is seamless, and you can reach your local market quickly and easily.

Ease of Use

Marketers have a lot of tasks to handle, so most don’t want to waste their time on a platform that is hard to use. Marketers often complain about Snapchat’s degree of difficulty. There is a learning curve with every action you need to complete on the site. Instagram is much more user friendly. You can watch and reach content with ease, share and reply to content, and add new followers. If it’s easy for you to navigate, it’s also easy for others, meaning they are more likely to follow your page and engage with your content.


It would make sense for Snapchat to provide a more authentic experience. The younger the market is, the more authenticity they tend to crave. Snapchat has an exceptionally young market, so it’s odd that it offers less authenticity than Instagram.

It all comes down to how the stories are set up. Marketers use Snapchat Stories and the Discover tab to make money on the site. This feels very inauthentic. On the other hand, Instagram Stories offers a more natural, authentic experience. People aren’t interrupted by annoying ads. In fact, they easily go between Instagram Stories and the feed without interruption. They manage to stay immersed in the photos without feeling as if a brand is trying to make a sale.

The Winner Is…

It’s clear that Instagram wins the battle with Snapchat. It might have piggybacked off Snapchat Stories, but it provides a better experience. That makes it the right choice for marketers.

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