INSTAGRAM STORIES VS. SNAPCHAT AND HOW TO UTILIZE BOTH

Utilizing the two platforms to create and share content.

Last week Instagram introduced us to something all too familiar. Their new Stories section works (and looks just like Snapchat where you can upload pictures and/or videos and that content will be deleted from your feed forever after 24 hours.

I’m not going to get into the basics of Snapchat since it has been around for a while (you can read my post A Logo Designer’s Case for Snapchat for that), but I will discuss how to use Instagram’s new feature, but most importantly, how to use both platforms to maintain your audiences on each one.

Instagram Stories is a Carbon Copy of Snapchat

Once of the first things you’ll notice with Instagram if you have used Snapchat before, is that not only does the content get handled the same, but the user interface is almost exactly the same as well. Instead of looking at this like the blatant ripoff it is, let’s make it a positive: since the Instagram Stories’ user interface is extremely similar to Snapchat’s, it’s very intuitive for us to use.

We don’t have to learn how to record, turn the camera, or upload content. We can just start using it without learning anything new.

A couple things that you might try to do in Instagram that you can’t is the one finger swipe to zoom or double tap on the screen while you’re recording to switch cameras. Instagram Stories also currently lacks a way to change the color of your type, apply goofy face-altering filters, and there aren’t any geofilters yet (something that is starting to become a big deal on Snapchat).

It won’t be surprising if they introduce some of these features later, but it also leave Snapchat as a useful tool for sharing content.

Getting Started with Instagram Stories

One Instagram has been updated, you will notice to main changes to the home tab:

  1. There’s a new button in the top left that looks like a circle with a plus sign (+) in it, this will pull up your camera so you can start capturing content.
  2. There will be a line of profile pictures of people you follow who have updated their stories at the top of your feed. The colored rings mean that they have content you haven’t seen yet

You now also have the ability to swipe from the home page. Swipe to the right to bring up the Stories recording interface. Swipe left to bring up your direct messages (anyone who comments to your stories will be found here). Just like Snapchat, once you have captured a photo or video, you can apply a filter by swiping in either direction. You can also add type and draw on the screen, then hit the checkmark button at the bottom center of the screen to upload.

Instagram Home Tab

Instagram’s new Home tab

Instagram Stories Capturing Interface

Instagram Stories capturing interface

The challenge having two similar platforms

Now that Instagram allows you share content just like Snapchat, a lot of people are expressing concern about using one platform or the other, or figuring out how to use both.

Adopting Instagram and drop-kicking Snapchat

One of the biggest draws with Instagram is people have more followers. More followers means a larger reach and more people’s eyes on your content. That is obviously a good thing and an understandable reason why some people have decided to drop Snapchat and focus their content on Instagram.
For those of you who choose this route, it’s important to consider your followers on there who don’t follow you anywhere else other than Snapchat. If you’re ok with losing that audience, it’s up to you, but at least know that there are most likely some people who will no longer hear from you if you don’t at least let them know you’re dropping out.

Sticking with the tried-and-true Snapchat

As for those who want to stay with Snapchat and avoid Instagram’s blatant rip-off, it’s understandable that you have been growing your audience and with some of it’s unique features like geofilters and face-swaps, but despite Instagram copy-catting Snapchat, you should at least check out what Instagram’s Stories has to offer. Even though it doesn’t have as many features, it feels much more polished and you have the power of Instagram’s discovery tools to gain a larger audience.

Using both at the same time

Now, here’s the kicker. If you want to use both, how do you do it without feeling like you’re wasting time doing the exact same thing twice? Well, the good thing is you have at least a couple of options:

  1. Share different content on each platform.
  2. Download the content you share to Instagram, then share it as Memories on Snapchat.

How I will be using Instagram Stories and Snapchat

The day Stories on Instagram was available, I decided to give it a shot and found that I immediately got more views on there than I do on Snapchat. That made it quite clear that I should be sharing content there, but since I have a following on Snapchat that doesn’t follow me on any other platform, I want to continue to create content for them, so here’s how I will be breaking up my content to reach both audiences:

Since I heavily curate the content I share on Instagram, I will be using Stories to provide a behind the scenes of me working my projects from sketching, to laying out templates, and vectorizing.

As for Snapchat, I’ll be sharing the challenges and adventures of building my branding design business and finding that work-life balance with my family.

By breaking up my content, I won’t feel like I’m spending a lot of time during my day remaking the exact same content twice for the two platforms. Of course, there are times where the content will be similar, but for the most part, they’ll be different enough of the interest of my followers whether they’re following me on all platforms or just one.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

There’s always going to be something new for you to try whether it’s a new social media platform or a current one with a big update. With the introduction of Instagram Stories, it’s best to see it as another opportunity to share content and engage with your audience similarly to Snapchat. Despite being the same, you should realize that the audiences are different and they’re following you for different reasons on each platform. Considering that, I encourage you to experiment by using both by sharing different content on each one to see what resonates better with your audience.

Have you checked out Instagram’s new Stories feature?

Let me know what you think of it in below!

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