Earlier this month, Instagram announced that over 200 million of its 700 million users are using Instagram Stories every day, up from 150 million in January. This means that more people are using Instagram Stories than Snap (formerly known as Snapchat) Stories, which last reported 158 million daily users in February.
The stories feature may not be original, but it’s working for Instagram, a company owned by Facebook. Snap Inc. turned down a $3 billion takeover offer from Facebook in 2013, and may live to regret it.
Instagram Stories outpaced Snap Stories for several reasons:
Instagram Stories are under constant construction
Since adding the feature in August 2016, Instagram has made frequent updates. From themed stickers to location, weather and time tags, you can add many details to your story to draw the viewer in. Instagram also recently released geostickers in some locations, very similar to Snap’s geofilters. It’s only a matter of time before Instagram Stories do everything Snap Stories can, and more.
Instagram provides better marketing opportunities
For influencers, Instagram offers exposure to an audience twice the size of Snap — 700 million users compared to over 300 million. The audience size is a powerful determinant in where to invest limited digital ad dollars. Businesses will more likely opt for the wider reach through Instagram.
Instagram provides better insights
Businesses of all sizes can run ads in Instagram Stories to the maximum number of people in their audience and control how often their audience will see the ads. Business profiles on Instagram are able to see the reach, impressions, replies and exits for each individual story. These rich insights help businesses create more refined and relevant content for their users. Compare this to Snap’s limited insights: screenshots, replays and amount of viewers of your Story.
Facebook is a tough competitor
While attending the Facebook Leadership Summit earlier this year, one presenter asked the roomful of attendees if we had noticed the unfinished ceilings above our heads. The ceilings are a reminder to all Facebook employees that the company is still growing and has many goals to accomplish. I don’t know about Snap Inc., but I sure wouldn’t want to be up against a social networking powerhouse that could one day be worth $1 trillion. Facebook has the resources to continually innovate and update the Instagram Stories features at a rate that far outstrips Snap’s capacity.
While Moonsail North uses both Instagram and Snap Stories, we’re finding Instagram to be our go-to source for visual storytelling (partly because you still can’t toggle to different accounts on Snap as easily). While we always appreciate a funny filter on Snap, Instagram Stories allow us to enhance our photos using more filters that are based on contrast, brightness and more useful tools to tell stories. We’ve been fans of Boomerang since it was first released, and we love incorporating that into our IG Stories. Not to mention, it’s more fun to convey a message with a colorful automatic background for text within a Story, rather than the gray bar that is used on Snap.