Instagram vs. Snapchat: The Pros & Cons of Both Apps

3 min read
Jun 1, 2018 10:36:00 AM

Instagram and Snapchat are two very effective marketing tools. But they might not be right for every brand. Let's zoom in on each of their capabilities. 

Is SnapChat Worth It? 

Snapchatters are 68% more likely to make impulse purchases. 

What about Instagram?

80% of users follow a business on Instagram and 71% of U.S. businesses use it. 

[DOWNLOAD] Are you lost trying to market your business on social media? Don't worry, this  starter guide will bring you up to speed.

App Wars: Instagram vs. Snapchat

Ever since Instagram launched Stories, a Snapchat-like ephemeral video component, the video-sharing landscape has changed. So, does this new feature—and others to come—mean that users will abandon one app in favor of the other? Here's a look at the demographics for both apps.


As of January 2018, 64% of Instagram users in the U.S. are aged 18-29, and 40% are aged 30-49, according to Statista.

As for Snapchat, 78% of users are aged 18-24, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center

So, when you are exploring the pros and cons of these apps, first assess whether or not your target audience is using it. And if not, find out what form of social media they prefer.

Both Apps Have the Same Aim  

Snapchat and Instagram are both photo and video-sharing platforms. Each, however, share photos and videos differently:

Snapchat Pros & Cons


When you share a story on Snapchat, it only stays active for 24 hours and when you share a chat, it's deleted after it's viewed by all recipients. You can take a screenshot of the “snap,” but the original poster will be notified if you do.

While this app has a reputation for being the go-to for teenagers and people who love rainbow-colored filters, its status is elevating thanks to interest from Facebook, which owns Instagram.


  • Snapchat boasts up to 400 million daily users. Therefore, the chances to increase your brand awareness and exposure is pretty high.  

  • It’s great for short attention spans and for creating a sense of urgency—this message will self-destruct in 10 seconds—ideal for time-sensitive promotions and pop-up sales.

  • Encourages interaction between users via private messaging options; allows users to send a story posted by a brand to a friend via direct message.


  • Very limited audience compared to other platforms. Unless you are targeting tweens and college kids, it won’t help you.

  • The quick-view feature has downsides; once a post is gone, users can swiftly forget about you. And if they weren’t paying attention, they probably never got your message in the first place.

Instagram Pros & Cons

tinh-khuong-749787-unsplashPhoto by Tinh Khuong on Unsplash

The sister-company to Facebook, Instagram has a bit more of sophistication than its counterpart. Except for the “Stories” feature, there is no expiration time, so images remain indefinitely unless deleted. It offers several filters and editing options, encouraging better quality. Users include descriptions and hashtags with their posts.


  • Use of hashtags and links allows you to connect images to your website, blog, and other social media pages.

  • Seamless integration with Facebook, you can easily share an image from this app to the other, including tags.

  • Encourages interaction and engagement between users via private and public comment options; allows business to communicate directly with followers.

According to AdAge, Instagram is a better choice for brands.


  • No sense of urgency like with Snapchat, particularly since recent changes mean users no longer even see posts in their feed in chronological order. This can be tough for markets since many users won’t even see a pic until it is too late.

  • Best for visual products, such as retail items, can be a more difficult medium for selling services or the technology industry, such as software as a service (SaaS).

So, Which is the Better App?

No doubt, both apps have their appeal and core audience. But, there is a distinct difference in who is using each photo-sharing tool. While Snapchat caters to a much younger audience, Instagram is trying to compete with similar 24-hour viewing period features, its core user group tends to be slightly older and less fickle.

Do You Really Know Your Target Audience?

If you are not sure which app is best for your target audience, it’s time to polish your buyer personas. Create targeted campaigns with this handy template. Capture your Audiance with the ultimate buyer persona

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