3 In Branding/ Digital Media/ Featured/ Marketing/ Social Media

The Pro and Cons of Instagram Stories

“Way to go, Instagram” *sarcastic tone*

“I never liked Snapchat (except for filters) so I’m embracing #instagramstory” – Angus OL

“I don’t know how I feel about #instagramstories” – everyone else

Those are just a few of the comments I’ve been hearing so far. The battle of mix emotions and never-ending video opinions from all channels are ridiculously crazy at the moment. Frankly speaking, it motivated me to grab my computer and break down the pros and cons of both platforms. According to our lovely friend from Smart Insights, there are 2.307 Billion active social media users as of January 2016  worldwide. Out of that number, there are 150 million Snapchat users every day (Bloomberg, June 2016) and 500 million users on Instagram (Statistica). How insane are those numbers? But let’s face it, when Snapchat first came out, a lot of us questioned it and again we are doing the same thing with the Instagram story.

Refresher course: When Snapchat first came out, it was geared heavily on the lower end of millennials with little purpose. However, they had their wake up call when Facebook attempted to buy their platform for $3B. From then on, they introduced trending stories mostly geared towards social events ie. Oscars, Emmy Awards, Concerts, Discovery and my all-time favourite filters. I thought there are more ways to improved Snapchat but I knew the team will continue to innovate and I am finally convinced it would not be obsolete.

Until today…

Instagram launched this add-on following the same idea of Snapchat where it disappears after 24 hours, you can see who views your content, write on your videos/images and some filters. But what is the commotion? Let’s cut to the chase and I’ll narrow down some pros and cons.

Pro | Holistic Approach: Better for Many

Instagram made it possible for those people who do not want to explore another social media app. The majority of people I know refuse to download Snapchat since “they do not have time” and with Instagram incorporating this, they eliminated that problem. For influencers, they can immediately cap on their existing followings and create a highly engaged platform in less than a few hours. It saves time to promote Snapchat ghost codes.

For most people, including me, this is enough to discontinue using Snapchat.

Could this be the death of Snapchat? Who knows!

Cons | Where’s the Fun or Geo-tag Filters?

The majority of why Snapchat users are on the app is due to the fact that they can have fun animals or face distortion filters without publishing this on stories. Do you even remember when face swap first came out? I sure had a good laugh swapping faces of my friends. In fact, I might be rolling on the floor laughing for hours. Truthfully, this is where Instagram could lose momentum on their current buzz but who knows, they can always add this on (Why not, might as well copy everything about Snapchat!). Do not get me started with geotagging filters – as a traveler, it is my ultimate favourite to pick which city filters I can use on my Snapchat stories.

On a brighter side, Instagram came out with two new filters: gradient and neon stroke texts.

Pro | User-friendly Interface

This may be argued by many since most people are used to how the Instagram interface is setup or how Snapchat works. However, Instagram strategically placed the Stories by making the following interface changes:

  • My Story Button on the top left corner
  • Active Stories on the first row
  • Unviewed Stories have a bright round circle on your profile photo and can easily be spotted
  • Easy instructional Stories by Instagram
  • Overall summary of your stories views – it looks like a magazine cover rack in horizontal order

On the other side, it may have been easier for most users to navigate through Instagram Stories as most people especially influencers are highly versed on how to use Snapchat.

Cons | Private Video and Instagram Messages

For most people, they use Snapchat not only due to filters but by privately sharing video and photo messages. Unfortunately, on Instagram stories, you do not have options of selecting certain people before posting it live. I am not a huge fan of this feature on Snapchat so it doesn’t make a difference for me but I do know the majority of Snapchat users send private snaps rather than stories.

On Instagram defence though, you can send private videos and photos through Direct Message.

The Verdict

As I’ve mentioned in my first #InstagramStory, I do not know how I feel about the change. However, after 10 minutes of using it and six stories uploaded, I cannot deny that I liked it. It is authentic and can easily reach my followings. In terms of numbers, my engagement on Instagram stories is far better than my Snapchat. In less than an hour, my views on Instagram stories quadrupled in comparison to my Snapchat stories. However, for personal use, I believe I will continue to use Snapchat.

Snapchat changed the landscape of Social Media.

For bloggers/influencers purposes, I believe business collaborations will get more out of Instagram stories rather than Snapchat. But let’s take a moment and give Snapchat a loud applause for changing the landscape of Social Media. Instagram incorporated this feature on their app as a form of flattery, Twitter introduced Moments for the same reason, and Facebook added the live stream feature in hopes to compete with Snapchat.

Snapchat completely revolutionalized the way social media works.

Is Snapchat about to end? Time can tell.

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Kali
    August 4, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for the well written article. As someone who purposely held out on using Snapchat (I know, I’m a dinosaur) I’m pretty excited about Instagram Stories for the exact reasons you mentioned – leveraging existing followers and having a much easier user interface. I do feel bad for Snapchat – it really was their unique idea. I guess only time will tell if they counter with new, enhanced features.
    Thanks again for weighing the Pros and Cons!
    Kali
    http://www.in-spades.com

    • Reply
      jemcastor@gmail.com
      August 4, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Hi Kali! Thank you very much for your kind words. I’m glad to hear what you think. I couldn’t blame you – I got into snapchat at first for the purpose of “thinking out loud” hence my snapchat username is so non-professional friendly but it blew up on the influencers/brand side not too long ago. It’s just unfortunate for them as they just started to get their momentum and boom! Instagram had to steal the shine, in an effective way. For brands and influencers like us, Instagram makes a lot of sense! For personal users, I think it could just flood their followers feed.

      Looking forward to seeing your stories! Thanks again for the comment.

      Have a lovely day! Xo, JEM

  • Reply
    The idEATe Networking Lunch - Do Well Dress Well
    August 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

    […] so we all began to share our perspective. (P.S. Jeanne wrote a pretty awesome blogpost on the pros and cons of Instagram Stories). I also decided to create my first ‘Instagram Story’ to document the […]

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