Instagram vs. Snapchat: Where Does Your Brand Belong?

By Andrew Collins | Last updated: Feb 19, 2024

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Instagram vs. Snapchat

Snapchat and Instagram are incredibly similar in many ways, yet they are somehow miles apart. Snapchat and Instagram are two hot social apps, and both have a similar approach to image sharing and video content. By making a screenshot or download Instagram contents, users can save the post they like.

What is their ultimate goal? To be the winner out of all social media platforms for sharing everyday pictures and video updates. That makes them compete directly and violently against each other in the battle to win your brand’s attention – and advertising dollars.

Instagram vs. Snapchat: which platform should your brand call home? Let’s look at the main differences between them.


Instagram vs. Snapchat: Popularity & Users

Snapchat is proud of an impressive 187 million daily users, but Instagram is significantly larger, with 400 million daily users. Snapchat is the application for Generation Z, while Instagram outperforms Snapchat for Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and beyond. Although Instagram has three times as many users as Snapchat, the younger demographic still prefers customizable but short-lived Snapchat over Instagram videos and photos.

Of course, all of this may change as the apps develop in their competition for key age groups. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a significant increase in either platform’s active users, but Instagram, particularly, gains more popularity than Snapchat.

Instagram vs. Snapchat: Content

Snapchat’s posts are often raw and unedited, while Instagram’s are high-res and polished. Next, let’s look at the types of content you can create on the two social platforms.


Stories are available on both platforms. Stories can be videos and images. Because stories are presented in fullscreen, the ideal orientation and dimensions for stories are horizontal (e.g., portrait) and a 9:16 aspect ratio, respectively.

Videos & Images

Videos and images are the other main types of content on the two platforms. But they are presented differently on the two apps. Published as posts on the two platforms, videos and images on Instagram are public (unless your account is private), while Snapchat’s are mostly private.

Instagram posts can be vertical, horizontal, or square. Snapchat’s are usually vertical (since they are shown in full-screen mode). Instagram posts will stay on your profile and feed, while Snapchat’s will disappear after 24hrs.

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Instagram vs. Snapchat: Discoverability

It is exciting to browse photos and videos on Instagram. If the people you follow haven’t updated news for a while, you can always hit the magnifying glass at the bottom of the interface to access Search & Explore and scroll through curated content. If you’re new to Instagram, the content will appear random initially, but the application will aggregate your previous hashtags and search terms to show you content that may be interesting to you.

One of the key benefits of using Instagram is that your content doesn’t disappear, so it can be found by users who search for the hashtags you’re using. Besides, you can link to your website on your profile. Snapchat doesn’t offer nearly the same functionality, which makes Instagram the apparent winner in this category.

Every marketing strategy begins and ends with consumers. If you tend to reach them, you have to know where they come from. Snapchat is another story. Although there is a Discover function in the bottom right corner, it is not nearly as user-friendly as Instagram’s Search & Explore. Because of Snapchat stories’ temporary setting, the depth and breadth of content aren’t there. The closest thing you’ll find is the “For You” part, which hosts content from celebrities and companies like ESPN.

Instagram vs. Snapchat: Engagement

Engagement appears to be higher on Instagram than on Snapchat. Comparing the two apps’ engagement levels is not easy since the forms of engagement on the two are different. On Instagram, people can like, comment, and watch a video. On Snapchat, people view a snap but make a private reply.

Although I can’t compare engagement levels as a whole, I thought it’s worth looking at the engagement level of stories because stories are available on both platforms and are very alike. It’s reported by TechCrunch that Instagram Stories outperforms Snapchat in engagement. An analysis of 21,500 Snapchat Stories by Delmondo indicated that the average unique viewers per Snapchat Stories fell by about 40 percent after Instagram Stories was

rolled out.


While Instagram appears to be better than Snapchat in most aspects of the comparison, it’s essential to think deeply about which platform your target audience prefers.

For instance, if your target audience is students, teenagers, and young adults, you might be able to reach them more effectively on Snapchat rather than on Instagram. Also, a massive percentage of Snapchat users aren’t on Instagram. So being on Snapchat might be the only way to reach them.

I hope you have found the analysis of Instagram vs. Snapchat useful for your decision making. Once you have made your decision, I would love to hear from you.