courtesy of the Nick Crawford Show

Snapchat stories vs. Instagram stories

September 26, 2016

On October 3rd, 2013, Snapchat released “Snapchat stories,” a place where images can be viewed for an unlimited number of times in a 24 hour period.  To summarize, a Snapchat is an image that is sent out and can last anywhere from one to ten seconds, before disappearing forever.  The image can have 31 characters on it, and any illustrations drawn within the provided color palette. Today, snap stories have a wide variety of new features, such as geotags and filters, all of which are commonly used to give others a glimpse into one’s daily life. Alternatively, when Instagram debuted, it was meant for people to publicly post photos for the world to see. Throughout the past five years, Instagram has added video, direct messaging, changed the algorithms in which posts are viewed, and more recently, added Instagram stories.

Why Instagram is better:

Although many people believe that Instagram has copied Snapchat and have continued to use Snap Stories over Instagram Stories, Instagram Stories are the better option for a few reasons.

First, Instagram’s stories features more drawing and writing options. In Snapchat, you can write and draw on photos you’ve taken with multiple colors. Instagram has the same features but with an improvement of the drawing and writing functions. When drawing, you can change the thickness of the pen as well as the type of pen. They also have font and text options for writing messages and captions.

Second, Instagram has a better way to view how many posts there are on someone’s story, and how long the videos or posts last. At the top of a story, there are bars showing how many posts there are on someone’s story and also how long the post lasts. With this feature, users can see how long a snap story is, and then they can skip it if they do not want to watch the whole thing. Finally, Instagram stories are more accessible because they are located right on the front of the home page. That way, users can see both stories, and regular posts from the home page.

Why Snapchat is better:

Instagram lacks in the areas where Snapchat thrives. For example, filters or geotags are not available on Instagram stories, whereas they are prominent on Snapchat. Furthermore, Instagram is not inexperienced when it comes to copying other social networks: In June 2013, three years prior to the release of stories, Instagram allowed their users to post short video clips, a feature that is specific to Vine. Just months after, in December, direct messaging was released. Sound familiar? Twitter has parented this feature since its initial release ten years ago.  

Regardless, Snap stories still have more benefits than Instagram stories. To begin, Snapchat is raw. The photos or videos are taken on the spot, and can only be edited to a certain extent. Even with Snapchat’s new feature, Memories, users still know when the photo or video was taken and where it was uploaded from. Similarly, the level of confidentiality and intimacy on Snapchat is much higher than any other network’s. Not only can the 31 characters allowed in the image be used as a way of broadcasting, but also as a means of private communication. The ability to choose who can or cannot see a story broadens the social capacity of the network, making it perfect for several different purposes.

Furthermore, because the whole purpose of Snapchat revolves around vanishing images, the disappearance feature makes sense—for Snapchat. As for Instagram, this feature epitomizes the opposite of what Instagram represents: pictures that will last a lifetime.

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