Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat

Instagram, one of the most popular visual social media platforms recently added a new feature that many people say is (almost) exactly like Snapchat, call Instagram Stories.  The point of instagram adding this features was to compete with Snapchat and jump onboard with the “expiring content” train.  Let’s have a closer look at the two platforms to see how they stack up against each other.  
Similarities in the platforms:
Both have photo and video capabilities, which can run as long as 10 seconds.  
The UI feels the same where you can doodle, add stickers and text to images.  The text looks the same as well, where you can have it in the form of a band or lettering.

The “Stories” feature is in a circle styled thumbnail for people to watch.     
But there are differences too: 
One of Snapchat’s winning points is the GeoFilters and 3D Facelenses.  You can customize your own GeoFilter or use another one someone created.  Although…Facebook (who owns Instagram) recently acquired MSQRD which enables you to overlay face lenses, so expect that feature to be coming very shortly to Instagram Stories.
The question is now being asked if Instagram stories can even come close to acquiring 150 million users of Snapchat.  The answer is no.  Those who are using Snapchat are clearly still enjoying it’s use and being more “feature rich” in it’s capabilities compared to Instagram Stories, they are not likely to switch over.  
However, for Instagram users, Instagram Stories have become a “Snapchat Lite” for many who aren’t ready to commit to Snapchat yet, but can still enjoy a similar experience.  This may eventually drive them to sign up and start snapping.  

For Instagram Stories to be competitive, it has to add in more features and soon.  For Snapchat, they have to tout their features but also be in development to offer users something more before Instagram catches up!
What does it mean for marketers?
There are opportunities in both arenas.  You can use both Instagram Stories and Snapchat in the same way with the same content, which makes it easy for now.  However, there are better opportunities for advertising in Snapchat with GeoFilters, Branded Stickers and Ads in between story streams.  

Marketers should closely monitor who is engaging on which platform more and which content is getting more engagement as well.  Keep an eye out for announcements on new features in both platforms as this competition has only begun.  

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