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2017 Contenders: Instagram's Stories vs. Snapchat's My Story

September 18 2017

Right now, social platforms are battling it out for who will be today's heavyweight champion by adding the newest features and trying to drive traffic to their networks. This seems to be the "story" between two social platforms that share similar features: Snapchat and Instagram.

When utilizing social media to drive leads to your real estate business, you can't help but wonder which of these two contenders – Snapchat or Instagram – is better to have in your corner. Once you fully understand the features and compare them, you can make an informed decision on which social platform you should spend advertising dollars on to build your presence.

hdc contenders instagrams stories vs snapchat

Round 1: Weight Class

After entering the market in 2010 (only a year before Snapchat's release), Instagram has a dominating presence with over 700 million daily active users700 million daily active users – the amount of users visiting the platform on a daily basis – compared to Snapchat's 166 million.

Snapchat experienced a rise in popularity a couple of years ago that Facebook (Instagram's parent company) saw as a potential threat for the social platform and made an offer to buy them. Snapchat refused and Instagram has made it a point to beat Snapchat at their own game and basically copied their popular "My Story" layout.

Instagram's decision to copy Snapchat's My Story has paid off with more than 250 million users250 million users (out of the 700 million daily active users) now posting to their Stories every day. In comparison, Snapchat reported its highest ever daily active users posting to their stories in their May 2017 Q1 report with around 40 million posts daily.

In terms of growing your brand's awareness and reaching a wider audience, Instagram is the clear winner in round 1.

Round 2: Ringside Engagement

Social media isn't just about how many people you can reach, but how many people are engaging with the content you share. Snapchat reported users spending over 30 minutes daily on their app, which has increased since February's 2016 Q4 reports of 25-30 minutes daily.

In comparison, Facebook reported active users spending an average of 50 minutes per day50 minutes per day across their big three platforms: Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. The last reports on Instagram specifically were back in 2014, with Instagram reporting users spending an average of 21 minutes daily21 minutes daily on its app.

When averaging users' time spent on apps, the higher the user count, the lower the user time becomes, hence, lowering the average time spent. So is Instagram the winner here? In terms of numbers, we know that Snapchat is either similar to Instagram on engagement or, most likely, the winner in round 2.

Round 3: Who's in the Crowd

If you're looking to promote your business to younger generations, both Instagram and Snapchat skew young, especially with the Millennials who are taking over the home buying market. The majority of Instagram's audience is under 30 years oldunder 30 years old, while Snapchat says their audience is under 34, with over 60% under 25. In addition, women users make up the majority in both Instagram and Snapchat.

With no clear winner in round 3, the deciding factor is how you want to focus your marketing efforts and where you want to spend your time advertising your business. If having clients who are immediately able to buy or sell a home is imperative to your business, then Instagram is your clear choice. However, if you are setting long term goals to acquire clients by building your brand's presence in the minds of younger audiences who will eventually get around to buying a home, then Snapchat might be the way to go.

Round 4: Toe-to-Toe to the End

Instagram's Stories and Snapchat's My Story both let you record short videos or take photos and put them into your story for 24 hours for followers to see and engage with. Each platform offers its own features, filters, and editing tools (for both images and videos); however, neither is notably better than the other.

The big difference between the two is the discoverability of posts. With more search options, Instagram allows users to tag other profiles, include hashtags, and add searchable location stickers. Snapchat recently released Snap Maps to their My Story. This feature allows location tagging on posts and can be utilized by agents showcasing a listing or during an open house. Neither platform allows direct website linking on posts for all users.

Although both platforms offer other functions aside from Stories, based on this function alone, which social site would you choose? Snapchat or Instagram? Or both?

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