Social Media Story Comparison

A look at Instagram and Snapchat StoriesPC:

Social media users can continuously stream their photos in a constant loop using different social media story features. Users on Instagram and Snapchat can post photos to their account, while adding different filters and geotags for their followers to watch. Each social media story post has a lasting period of exactly 24 hours from the time first shared. Both social media channels have similar core features, but is there a defining factor that pushes one over the other? After meeting with the Guidelive team this past week, one of their questions kept me thinking after I left the office. Which social media story is better? If each app offers the same core features than what separates one from the other, and what channel is best for brands to reach audiences with?


Snapchat was first in the social media story game. Something foreign to users that quickly gained traction. Users can follow friends, family, and take a peek into the private lives of celebrities. People can snap everything they are doing, rotating between photos and videos. Snapchat users browse through the stories of all their snapchat friends, rolling through each account with a continuous touch on the screen. Users can edit their posts on Snapchat with different filters, geotags, text, and stamps.


Instagram followed Snapchat’s trend and created their own social media story feature. Using Snapchat’s core features, Instagram added on a hyperlinked geographic tag. On the Instagram story feature, users can click on the tag and view Instagram photos tagged at that location. The viewer can interact with other users’ posts.

The hyperlinked geotag allows users to see more on that location. They can see it on a map and browse a selection of photos at the particular location.

Instagram story location hyperlink

Users can also post hyperlinked usernames, that can redirect the viewer to that user’s account. This is a great way for influencers on Instagram to share their favorite brands and places, redirecting users to those accounts.

Instagram story tagged account username

There is also a key feature on Instagram stories that allows verified accounts to link to articles and other posts not available on Instagram. The post will have a ‘swipe up’ feature where users can swipe to view a linked post, giving influencers the opportunity to expand their audience.

Swipe up feature

On top, users can get now everything is one place.

So, Which One?

People seem to be more selective with what they post on their Instagram stories versus their Snapchat stories. If you are looking to stream a large amount of posts in a short amount of time, Snapchat seems to be a more acceptable place for that. Instagram stories are defiantly the place to promote posts, other accounts, or locations, because of all the hyperlink features. Snapchat does have more active daily users, 158 million, than Instagram story users, 100 million daily active users. The people viewing your story on Snapchat though you must be friends with. On Instagram if your account is public anyone can see your story.