Almost a year and a half after its launch, Instagram’s Story feature has already proven to be very successful. Even at eight months old, Instagram Stories boasted 40 million more daily users than Snapchat; as of November 2017, Instagram reported 250 million Story users worldwide. What was initially seen as a copycat feature with components similar to that of its competitor, Instagram Stories are increasing in popularity for users in general in addition to becoming the preferred story-sharing platform for influencers and advertisers.
On Instagram, influencers posted an average of 7.6 stories compared to 3.6 on Snapchat per day. We are observing this increase in Instagram Story for the following reasons: Instagram has a wider reach, it is difficult to find people on Snap, Instagram allows direct links and hashtag integration, Instagram stories are higher quality than those on Snap, and lastly Instagram can provide more in-depth information to advertisers and marketers.
As an app, Instagram has a growing audience of 800 million users as of September 2017. When it launched Stories in 2016, it made sense that influencers would choose to use a platform with more users in order to reach a larger demographic. Instagram provides users and influencers alike an improved one-stop-shop for all their social media interests and needs that can do what Snapchat does and more.
Instagram has made finding the people you’re looking for as straightforward as possible. Complete with verified badges, the authenticity of a brand, celebrity, and (some) influencer profiles is assured. Users can seek out profiles of interest with ease, certainty, and transparency. The same task on Snap is not as clear — searching for people by name is not always possible so users often resort to displaying their Snap handles on Instagram or another trustworthy platform. Instagram’s ease of use is appealing to advertisers and brands because they want it to be as easy as possible for their market to not only find their brand to begin with but also more information on the products being marketed to them.
When using Instagram Stories, users can link viewers to other profiles directly and use hashtags — a feature not available or really possible on Snapchat. This is element of Stories is essential to continuing a narrative and directing viewers to other profiles or similar posts. Furthermore, Instagram Stories post in higher quality than those on Snap. No matter how visually striking a photo or video, nothing kills the aesthetic of a post more than blurriness. Instagram is by no means perfect, but the in-app camera quality is much more clear than Snapchat. It also allows users to upload high-quality images from their camera roll that can be perfectly integrated into their story. Brands want their image to be shared in the best light possible — this begins with quality content and is made more possible by Instagram.
Instagram has the ability to provide firms with everything from follower counts, website clicks, and impressions to a specific story’s reach, demographics, and engagement. Snapchat cannot provide nearly as many metrics and thus falls short in supplying needed statistics to advertisers. This information is paramount so that marketers can see what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve. It is no surprise then that even the top Snapchat influencers posted 25% more on Instagram Stories with overall Snapchat-Influencer use down 33%. While content is king, it is not always enough. Instagram has mastered the balance between artistic and promotional content through their Story feature, giving influencers another dynamic and entertaining platform to spread their influence through.
(Featured Photo Attributed to Digital Glue)