In 2010 Instagram launched onto our App Store, giving us a free online mobile photo sharing, video sharing, and social networking service that enabled us to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms.  Originally, a distinctive feature was that it confined photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid SX-70 images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.

2011 saw the birth of Snapchat – an instant messaging, and multimedia mobile application allowing users to send images visible for a certain length of time to your chosen contact. As part of the app, the My Story element was created, letting users post images and videos for all of their contacts to see for 24 hours.

Seemingly following in Snapchat’s footsteps, a few months ago Instagram decided to introduce a Stories element, also allowing users to view stories for 24 hours. But which works best?

Instagram and Snapchat may both be photo-heavy social networks loved by celebrities, brands, and millennials, but for many, they represent two different worlds and drastically different experiences.

Most of us treat Instagram as a retirement home for the absolute best of our photos (the well-lit glass of wine or cocktail, food porn, the sunset at the end of a day out on the beach). Meanwhile Snapchat, on the other hand, is a way to broadcast all the memories that don’t make the final cut (i.e. that pancake that you think looks rubbish, that selfie you took this morning of your new hair-do). Essentially Snapchat offers a momentary glance at the present, while Instagram captures a rose-colored portrait of the past.

Snapchat’s 100 million daily user count is still dwarfed by that of Instagram, which is logged onto by 300 million active daily users per day. And while more than two-thirds of Snapchat users are under 25, Instagram is primarily concentrated in the wider 18-34 age bracket. Reaching a bigger existing audience is why many brands and celebs are likely to jump onto Instagram stories.

Can Instagram Stories kill Snapchat Stories? There are no signs of damage to Snapchat just yet. According to Business Insider, Snapchat usage did not decrease in the two week period following the launch of Instagram Stories.

Which app do you prefer?

Amanda Spence, Account Executive

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