What’s the difference between Instagram stories and Snapchat stories for businesses?

By Jillian Lim


Photo courtesy of Hi5

Instagram stories were introduced by the company in August 2016, a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. The new feature feels much like Snapchat Stories, a Snapchat feature that was introduced in 2013.

Like Snapchat, you can post photos or videos, add text, paint on top of the image and add photo filters. My favorite image filter is the purple and orange gradient.

What’s the difference between these two social media platform’s Stories feature?

Until Instagram’s update in November, the two were very similar. There was a constant debate on social media of Instagram v. Snapchat.

The biggest differences of Snapchat stories and Instagram stories were:

  1. Instagram stories appear at the top of your main feel and is in the order of which friends are closest to you. Snapchat stories are chronologically place.
  2. Instagram’s drawing tools are more aesthetically pleasing and advanced than Snapchat’s. Snapchat uses one paint brush. Whereas Instagram has three different pen tools: a pen, marker, and a neon brush.

    Photo courtesy of Mashable

Since the most recent Instagram update though in November, Instagram is upping their Stories game. Now you can have links, mentions and Boomerangs as your Instagram story.

Links are available for verified users. The link will be on the bottom of the story with the words “see more” where you can tap it or swipe up, so the link will load in Instagram’s in-app browser. This is the first time clickable links are available on content on Instagram except for the user’s profile.

All users, however, will be able to use mentions in their stories now. Mentions will show up with an underline so that viewers know it is a tappable link. Now every story gives you the chance to be highlighted by a person, place, or brand.

Another great advantage to Instagram stories is the popular app used by hip millennials, Boomerang. You can now use it on your story without having the app installed on your phone. It will create a burst of up to five photos and will begin a play loop, which is something everyone loves and Snapchat doesn’t have.

So which platform is best for brands?

In my opinion, Instagram Stories is the leading platform for businesses.


On Snapchat, all you see is their behind the scenes videos or photos. There is no opportunity to drive any traffic to your business, especially for small business owners.

On the other hand, Instagram allows you to view a brand’s Story. You can click their profile on the top left to see their photography work or their products, which then leads to their portfolio or company website. Instagram drives traffic to your company website and, ultimately, drives customers or clients to your business.

Did I also mention that Instagram has 500 million active users versus Snapchat’s 100 million?

Instagram Stories takes the cake, especially with their neon brush.








Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism