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Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories: What’s the Difference?


Small business social media managers rejoice! Businesses are closer to getting both real-time content and branded posting on one platform with the recent addition of the ‘Stories’ feature on Instagram. The ‘Stories’ feature which was once unique to Snapchat, an app for user posting and sharing of real-time photos and videos, has been adopted to Instagram so users can continue to post continuous content without worrying about over-posting content that stays to their Instagram profile.

Instagram Stories

Stories were adopted to the Instagram platform not only to compete with the popular Snapchat but to give users the option to post additional content without worrying about over-posting photos and videos on Instagram. When businesses post content to their story, the content disappears after 24 hours, just like Snapchat stories. Many businesses may not have enough real-time content to consistently manage a Snapchat account, so the Instagram stories feature allows businesses to combine real-time content with regular photos and videos on one platform.

Between the two platforms, Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories are virtually the same in appearance. So, if Instagram is giving users the ability to post scheduled content and real-time content, what’s the difference? Why should Snapchat matter to businesses if Instagram has it all? The real difference between the stories feature on Snapchat versus Instagram is that Snapchat is not only a visual storytelling platform for users, it is also a visual experience.

These are some of the key features available to businesses and users that make Snapchat a visual experience:

Snapchat Geofilters

Snapchat’s geofilters feature dynamic art to add to photos when a user sends a snapchat from a specific location. Businesses can use this tool to their advantage by purchasing an on-demand geofilter for their business location, an event or to place their logo to a specific location for brand promotion. These on-demand geofilters can feature anything the business chooses to promote such as their logo, a trademark or relevant graphics.

Snapchat Lenses

You’ve probably come across photos of people on social media using popular lenses such as the animated dog face lens, the grumpy face lens or even a company-sponsored lens. Lenses are a fun feature that places a fun animation or mask over the user’s face. These lenses are either provided by Snapchat or company sponsored – meaning a business could create and pay to have their lens featured on Snapchat for a duration of time. This feature often drives engagement among users by encouraging them to send the pictures to other users.


After the popularity of Snapchat soared, short advertisements were strategically placed between Snapchat stories. For businesses wanting to get their message to millennials, this can be a good way for businesses, especially local, to advertise. Being so new, Instagram probably won’t add advertisements to its stories feature for a while.

Snapchat and Instagram will continue to thrive as popular apps that people, especially the younger generations, love. For businesses and social media managers spending an abundance of time switching back and forth between apps, Instagram has provided a time-saving solution by adding stories to its platform and centering itself between storytelling and an experience.

If you’re looking for some clarity when it comes to social media and would like an expert team to help you get where you need to go, then let’s chat!