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Is Instagram Stories better than Snapchat? We asked some of Ireland's top social influencers

They’re practically the same… or are they?

1-hDu0o93VLKjXDRO27QU8NQ Source: Medium

WHEN INSTAGRAM LAUNCHED its Stories feature last August, it was widely derided as nothing more than an attempt to muscle in on Snapchat’s turf.

Indeed, Instagram Stories is a near replica of Snapchat. It allows users to share stories that disappear after 24 hours and play around with filters.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Instagram’s CEO even admitted to taking some of Snapchat’s features, but insisted that was par for the course in Silicon Valley.

They deserve all the credit.
When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.

People were understandably skeptical at first. Could Instagram really hope to take on an app as wildly popular as Snapchat or would it prove to be a last-ditch attempt to remain relevant in an ever-changing tech landscape?

In the months since, Instagram Stories has established itself as an equally good, if not superior, product to Snapchat. Plenty of people have migrated there including celebrities and social influencers. (Just look at how Busy Philipps’ career has gotten a new lease of life thanks to the platform.)

Many of Ireland’s leading social influencers made their name on Snapchat – James Kavanagh, James Patrick and Rosemary MacCabe, to name but a few. But now it seems that some are beginning to use the app less and less, if not abandoning it outright.

Earlier this week, Rosemary MacCabe penned a blog post in which she announced that she had deleted Snapchat and would instead be focusing her efforts on Instagram Stories.

MacCabe explained that she had shifted her focus to Instagram Stories because it was a “far, far friendlier” place to be and allowed users to upload 15-second videos rather than 10-second snippets. She also criticised the anonymous nature of Snapchat, which facilitates “ghost followers” or lurkers.

She also outlined how it made sense from a business perspective, which is important for influencers who make money from sponsored content and brand partnerships.

The most important functional difference, from a business – or blogging – point of view, is that Instagram Stories allows you not only to tag other users using a clickable tag (so you can go from one person’s Instagram Stories into another account they’ve recommended via tagging), but it also offers a “swipe up to go to this website” function. This means that, unlike Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to direct traffic towards your site, blog or another Instagram account.

MacCabe is far from the only social influencer to jump on the Instagram Stories bandwagon. A quick gander through Instagram Stories today reveals stories from social influencers like Rosemary MacCabe, Roz Purcell, Pippa O’Connor, Holly Carpenter, Leanne Woodfull and Louise Cooney.

At the very least, it would appear that many are using Snapchat and Instagram Stories in tandem, like Holly Carpenter.

“At the moment I’m still using both platforms, but I kind of prefer Instagram stories,” she told DailyEdge.ie. “In the last month or so, I’ve noticed my views continue to rise on my Instagram stories and it’s now matching my reach on Snapchat.”

She echoed MacCabe’s sentiments about Instagram’s tagging capabilities.

The tagging capability on Instagram is very handy if I’m talking about a brand or a restaurant. I’m more likely to look at a brand’s profile and follow them if it’s been mentioned on Instagram rather than hearing about it on Snapchat and then exiting the app to go and search for it.

Additionally, Carpenter stated that Instagram felt like “more of a community” than Snapchat and pointed to some “inappropriate messages” she had received on Snapchat as an example of how the anonymous nature of the app can work against it.

That has never happened to me on Instagram as it’s a less anonymous app.

When your eyes and hair match.. 👁🍁🍂

A post shared by Leanne Woodfull (@leannewoodfull) on

Leanne Woodfull, an Irish blogger with over 70,000 followers on Instagram, is also more keen on Instagram Stories these days and told DailyEdge.ie that she views Snapchat as a “bonus platform”.

“I’ve always preferred Instagram over Snapchat anyway to be honest,” she explained.” I use Snapchat casually, which people do like, whereas Instagram stories is a slightly-more stylised/ photogenic version of my day-to-day life in comparison.”

She agreed that Instagram Stories is more effective for those “working professionally on social media”. However, she did praise Snapchat for its “hilarious filters” and for possessing a “real” quality as opposed to an aspirational one.

I think Snapchat is a great way to have conversations with your followers too, and they can see the ‘real’ you on it, as opposed to a curated one on Instagram.


As for whether Woodfull and Carpenter will abandon Snapchat any time soon?

Carpenter said she’s not ready to quit just yet, but did note that it was “tiresome” running the two.

I’m torn between just picking one or sticking with both and running the risk of being repetitive. Snapchat is going to need to come up with something unique that can’t be imitated. I’m looking forward to seeing their next move.

Meanwhile, Woodfull said she wouldn’t be leaving the app any time soon, stating that she uses it for a different purpose than Instagram, meaning they don’t necessarily cancel each other out.

I only personally follow mates on Snapchat and I do enjoy the snaps people from around the world send me back. I’ve approached it in a very different manner to my other platforms and that’s drawn a different kind of following in itself; a following that appreciate extremely-casual snaps.
Snaps they’d see from a friend, not a “blogger” as such. If it changed too much, it’d lose its niche.

That’s what the social influencers have to say. But will ordinary people make the switch? It would appear so. TechCrunch reported in April that Instagram Stories had reached 200 million active users, putting it ahead of Snapchat.

Can Snapchat pull something out of the hat and get back on track? It remains to be seen. For now, Instagram Stories is where the party is at.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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