Snapchat VS Instagram – Which to Pick?

Snapchat and Instagram can be a great fit in any marketing strategy for small to medium-sized businesses. However, which one does better is a difficult question. Why? Because they are evenly matched against each other, giving marketers a hard time choosing one for their brand, unless they’d choose both. But, what if you can only pick one, just one? Snapchat vs Instagram – what would it be?

In this article, I will differentiate the strengths and weaknesses of these two popular platforms. I will do it quite the same way as I did on Twitter VS Facebook ads. We are about to compare two platforms that serve the same purpose – to share photos and videos, but with different methods.

Snapchat vs Instagram

Snapchat Marketing: Pros and Cons

Snapchat is a social media platform that enables you to share photos and videos. You can customize them and send them to a friend or share them to all your followers. However, it doesn’t stop there. Snapchat has a unique feature that keeps everything temporary. It means all your sent pictures/videos – better known as Snaps – will only last ten seconds (photos) or until the video ends, after it has been opened by the receiver/viewer. Then, it will disappear for good.


Snapchat’s daily active users are estimated to be from a 100 million to 150 million. The number of snaps being sent every day is around 400 million. Most users are women, about 70%. And, 77% of the users are college students; this is because the age bracket for this platform is between 13-24 years old.  The most interesting fact is that only 1% of the entire population in Snapchat is using it as a marketing tool, making the competition easy!


The first strength and maybe the platform’s biggest strength is the absence of a huge competition. There are no giant brands sending Snaps here and there. This gives small businesses an opportunity to dominate without feeling little.

Snapchat is one of the most active social media channels out there. Most users use the app daily, making them more responsive to anything you throw at them. Your marketing efforts are also more likely to be seen by your audience easily.

Users are more enthusiastic in checking your Snaps. This is due to the ten-second rule. Users will always give undivided attention to what you have to provide, since they can no longer see them again once it’s gone.


You have a very specific set of audience available. If you’re trying to market products that are sellable to teenage female college students, then this is the right platform. However, that’s just about it, or you will face some uneasy challenges.

Snaps are temporary – too temporary. Snaps can encourage focus, but accidents are still imminent. Some users might accidentally open a Snap and when that happens, your chance to advertise a product is gone.

Instagram Marketing: Pros and Cons

Instagram is like Snapchat, without the “temporary” feature, making the title Snapchat VS Facebook accurate. It is a company owned and developed by Facebook. The users can post photos and videos on their profile and can be seen by other users following them – or anyone who views their profile or from a used hashtag (this only happens if their profile is set to public). They can also place a description of the photo and clickable links as hashtags. This platform also has a huge array of filters and other photo editing tools that encourage everyone to be artistic and unique at what they post.


For monthly active users, Instagram has an amazing 400 million strong. However, it only has a daily active user of 75 million. This is simply because most users don’t open this app daily. There are 80 million photos uploaded daily, and the like button gets clicked nearly 5 billion times a day. Another advantageous fact is that the users on Instagram spend a lot more, compared to Snapchat, 21 minutes a day straight for every session. The users are more diverse – 41% are 16 to 24, while 35% are 24 – 34.


Instagram is public, a very advantageous features for marketers as people can engage and interact on every post. This encourages users to mingle and ask for the product; the more questions answered, the better chance of generating more conversions.  And, you can boost your brand’s reputation by engaging each comment with a tag, either on your description or comments.

The photos are permanent. As opposed to the other platform, Instagram advocates that things stay there for good, unless you want it removed. This gives other users the chance to see your previous promotions and posts.

Hashtags are simple and effective. Since you can create your brand’s signature hashtag, you can easily ask fans to promote your brand by using that hashtag. Plus, you can use up to 30 hashtags. It can simply be compared as a tagged category, making things easier to reach people when you use the right tags.

Instagram images are better in quality. This enables most brands to showcase their product clearly and more attractively. With better images, the odds of getting shares are higher.

You can market almost anything, as the users are more diverse, compared to Snapchat,where you only have a few options.


This platform has a lot of competition. Since you’re not the only player, you will have to compete a lot, especially when you use a general hashtag on your photo. Similar posts will be seen by users. So, you have to be more creative, competent, and persistent. Also, it’s not ideal to post short-time promos, as it will be seen for as long,because you won’t delete it.

Snapchat VS Instagram: Winner?

Well, both platforms are amazing. They work differently, but they still provide the same purpose. ForSnapchat VS Instagram, the winner depends on your needs. If you’re aiming for girls, go for Snapchat. If you have a plan to be a big hit for the general public, go for Instagram.

If you want to send out a lot of quick promos (especially local ones, using Snapchat Geofilters), give them with chances, and get their attention, Snapchat would be the better option. If you plan to promote something long-term and create a good reputation with your audience, go for Instagram.

One response to “Snapchat VS Instagram – Which to Pick?”

  1. If you can choose only one, obviously it really depends on your business and market etc. I’m a big fan of the 80/20 rule. Meaning I’d spend 80% of time and effort in IG, get email list and conversions from there. 20% in consistent Snapchat posts, to get use to the platform, feel it, build audience there as well. Like what you said, serves the same purpose, just delivered differently.

    Just my $0.02 worth.

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