The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Picture This: Choosing Between Snapchat and Instagram

Snapchat and Instagram: Should We, Can We, and Why Would We?   A Case for Bloggers and Influencers.

SnapChat or Instagram

Take a look at any millennial’s phone and you are sure to find Snapchat or Instagram. Actually, you are more likely to find both these apps. One can rarely walk down the street without seeing someone ‘snap-chatting’ or ‘instagramming’. These image based apps have given us a way to instantly share what’s going on in our lives.

The big question now is…which app is better?

Choosing Between Snapchat and Instagram

First, we need to look at the definition of better? Typically defined as “of superior ability”(Merriam-Webster), this descriptor is going to be different for everyone and application.

Bloggers and influencers use social media consistently to “sell” themselves and/or their brand. The use of image based platforms helps them visually portray to their audience information they may or may not be on their existing blog. For bloggers, the definition of better means having the ‘superior ability’ to keep followers and attract new ones, while allowing me (the blogger) to portray my brand in an effective

Snapchat and Instagram have different feature and reach different audience; explaining why many bloggers choose to use both in tandem. If they had to make the hard choice between the two which would be chosen? Let’s break down their features to see which one would be the better choice.

What Post Look Like on SnapChat and InstagramInstagram(Gotter)

  • Over 400 million monthly active users
  • 5 billion likes a day
  • Over 80 million photos are shared each day
  • 75% international users
  • Greater engagement than Twitter
  • 55% 18-29 yr old; 28% 30-49 yr old

Instagram has always been a great app for sharing high quality images. Over time it has evolved to include more filters, Instagram stores, and better ways to discover new users. Instagram’s integration of a hashtag is a big ‘selling’ point.

Hashtags on the app work as they do on Facebook and Twitter; allowing the user to separate all content with that includes information. This is a great tool for bloggers. Hashtags come in handy when collaborating with brands, having posts with themes, or when creating a hashtag for themselves to easily find all their content.

As a Facebook owned company, Instagram allows for seamless cross-posting and advertising. Now, you can even use Facebook’s detailed targeting on Instagram campaigns. Engagement and interactions are also public. People can comment on or like your videos publicly, instead of responding privately. This allows an account to gain momentum and generate conversation. You can even tag users in your description or comments.

The draw-back is that Instagram only works well with real visual content. You need to have the right image setup for every post. Unlike with Snapchat, where the image will disappear and doesn’t need to be as perfect.


  • Over 100 million active users – daily
  • Mostly young audience – only 14% not categorized as millennial
  • 8x as many 13-34 year-olds watch live stories of an event over watching the same event on Television
  • Over 8 billion video views each day.
  • 77% college student usage
  • 70% women user base

Snapchat is still considered a new app. It is still growing and evolving, noted most recently with map features and the Snap Inc IPO. It is straightforward to use. At its most basic level, you simply point and shoot a photo or video, or upload one from your photos.

Snapchat is great at creating a sense of urgency. Everyone knows that whatever you post disappears after 10 seconds; if you screenshot it the user is notified so you want to make sure you are paying attention and creating fast engaging content.

The drawback of Snapchat for bloggers is the large millennial audience. Unless you are a blogger who feeds off of millennial subscribers, followers, or ‘millennial brands’, you will find it hard to get followers and traction from this app. The other problem is the lack of search since there is no seamless hashtag search like on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Based on the data here, I would argue Instagram is the clear winner.

It now has all the functionality of Snapchat, the ability to post ‘mini-blogs‘, has search features, and pulls in a wider demographic.

Who would you declare the winner?

Instagram is the winner

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Better. Retrieved July 15, 2017, from
Gotter, A. (2016, May 30). Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which Should You Use? Retrieved July 18, 2017, from
Econsultancy, D. M. (2015, January 06). 20 Instagram stats marketers need to know. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from
Dunn, J. (2017, April 24). Instagram’s rapid attack on Snapchat, in one chart. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from
Chayka, K. (2015, November 11). Why Instagram Captions Are the New Blogging. Retrieved July 15, 2017, from

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Category: Social Media Marketing 201

7 Responses

  1. WOW. I have never thought about the differences of the apps. Honestly for me Instagram is my public posting app, and Snapchat I only use it between friends. As they are the only contacts I follow on purpose.

    Great post,


  2. Great post! Deciding what social media platform to use really can make a difference on what users find engaging and how successful a campaign is.

  3. Great post, I mostly use Instagram, but when I want to tell a great story I use Snapchat. Instagram live reminds me of Facebook live but low budget. I love your comparison between the two.

  4. Lori Narewski says:

    Great post! I use Instagram, and have Snapchat on my list to learn fast, as I know so many young people (including my boys) use Snapchat regularly. I am hearing more and more parents also hopping on the Snapchat bandwagon – so it will be very interesting to see how Snapchat evolves. Thank you for the comparison of Instagram and Snapchat!


  5. Hi Kayla,

    Great information! I agree that Instagram has a wider audience and is better for most businesses. I like how you backed up your decision with data that clearly shows who these two platforms attract! Thanks for the share!

  6. Damaris Jaime says:

    GREAT information! I didn’t know this much about either IG or Snapchat!

  7. Jim Owston says:

    Let me confess I haven’t used either platform, but Instagram is more towards my style. I’m a little further away from being a Millennial than most if not all of our class.

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