A few days ago the social media community has yet again been confronted with a stirring update. After the news that Instagram will change its algorithm, which caused quite some confusion and anger among the community, the app now surprised us with Instagram stories. You don't need to be a social media pro to notice that this new function has been more than inspired by Snapchat.Basically it is now possible to upload random short videos and photos that will be deleted after 24 hours on Instagram as well. They will not be displayed in your feed, but can be consumed with a click on a user's profile photo. The result: People who've so far been using Instagram and Snapchat for separate purposes are highly confused.
Will Instagram stories now replace Snapchat? Is it reasonable to use the app of perfection that Instagram has become to upload random bits of our lives? Which is the best app to talk to our followers on a daily basis? If these questions have been occupying you for the last few days then you should have a look at my list of pros and cons of both apps. Maybe it will give you some new insights and help you decide which is the right app for your needs.
I think that the filters and geotags on Snapchat were crucial for the app's success. Especially the filters make it easy to put yourself in front of the camera even if your makeup isn't done or if you don't have anything to say. With the new update you can even use Bitmojis, i.e. emojis that look like yourself, or nice sticker style emojis that somehow resonate with the patch trend in fashion. These tools make using Snapchat more fun, which is a reason why non-professionals will probably not give up on it so quickly. However it would be naive to think that Instagram will never step up its game so we might be surprised what filters, emojis and features they will come up with in the next weeks or months.
2. Still THE app for random videos and photos
The above elements plus the fact that Snapchat is still number one in sending random stuff to your friends, will probably save it from perishing right away. Despite all Instagram is still somewhat of a serious business for all the people who are making money over there and who spend hundreds of euros on courses that teach them how to optimize their feed. So chances are that also the Instagram stories will be used for more 'serious' stuff with good aesthetics while Snapchat will always be the app where you can do whatever the heck you want.
1. Many weird people on this app
I was amazed to see how relatively quick I grew a little following on Snapchat. However when looking at the people who were following me, I had to find out that it were mostly weird men with kinky usernames. Of course I have weird people following me on Instagram, too, but at least there I know that they are probably just following me to get a follow back and not to watch me in my day-to-day life. Also I probably don't have to tell you how many penis pictures have been sent via Snapchat (how good this never happened to me!).
2. Friends following who aren't interested in what you do
Funnily enough even though I am the blogger who should always be up to date with social media, I was one of the last people in my environment to install Snapchat. My fiancé and my brother have been using it months before me. This shows that Snapchat is really an app for everybody, and not so much for people who pursue any specific goals with it, like it's the case on Instagram. This means that you probably have a lot of friends following you over there, that aren't necessarily interested in your blog or business. So doing a get ready with me while my brother or old school colleagues are watching, would make me feel a bit uncomfortable. Back on Instagram however, I know that only people who are actually interested in this fashion, beauty and blogging world will be watching me, which gives me quite some freedom.
1. You already have a following
Probably the biggest forte of Instagram stories is that you don't need to find new followers because you already have them. I've heard of some bloggers that they found it hard to grow their following on Snapchat, and that they had 10 times more views on Instagram stories than on their snaps.
2. You can do it all in one app
So thanks to the above point you don't need to beg people to follow you over on Snapchat over and over again. You also don't need to tell them that you have some new video content up, because if they care about your videos they will immediately see them anyway. Now you have it all in one app and neither you, nor your followers have to leave Instagram to stay up to date with you. So now you can use all the time you spent on gaining new followers on Snapchat, to expand your Instagram empire.
3. People don't need to be following you
Even though you will get a lot of views thanks to your existing followers, people don't even need to be following you to see your story. All they have to do is go to your account. So no more following someone without even knowing what they are up to.
4. People can build a relationship
Thanks to point 3 it will be so much easier for your (potential) Instagram followers to connect with you and thus also pay more attention to your photos. Sometimes I hesitate to follow someone because I don't know how they are like as a person, but thanks to their story I will get a better idea of their personality. Also thanks to Instagram stories I noticed how cool some of the girls are that I've only been following because of their pictures and not because of themselves. Now that I know a bit more about them, I will also focus more on their photos and like or comment them more often.
5. You can go back to the last picture/video
One thing that I find super annoying with Snapchat is that you have to watch a story all over again to see one snap you missed. Pretty time consuming on stories that are like 50 snaps long! On Instagram however, you can also watch a story backwards by tapping on the left side of your phone screen.
1. Uploading photos only from the last 24 hours
For a while now it has been possible to upload old photos to Snapchat. The same is possible on Instagram stories, however you will only be able to use videos and photos that are not older than 24 hours. Given the fact that Instagram is still a photo app and that you can always upload any photo in your regular feed, this shouldn't be bothering us too much though.
2. You might loose followers
We all know how quickly you can lose followers on Instagram. It seems like people over there get irritated really easily and click the unfollow button at your slightest not-so-perfect picture. Now videos are unfortunately an easy way to annoy people as well, so those who'll want to keep their newsfeed just as clean as their storyfeed might be unfollowing a whole bunch of people now.
3. Way too much input
The fact that you have many followers right away, also has a downside, namely that you also get spammed with potentially hundreds of stories right away. I am following over 600 people on Instagram. If they would all post interesting stories then I'd spend the rest of my life on Instagram. So even though it's nice getting to know the people you are following, it's simply too much input watching all of their stories. I really hope that it will soon be possible to deactivate someones stories all while still following their regular feed.
As you can see in my eyes Instagram stories has a whole bunch of advantages and the few disadvantages will probably all vanish after some more updates that are pretty sure to come. To me it was clear from the beginning that Instagram stories is the right solution for me. Not only do I rarely snap, but I also feel like all of my snaps are just an extension to my Instagram photos. So if that's the case then why not keep it all in one app?
What are your thoughts on Instagram stories? Do you like the update or will you stick to Snapchat? Also those of you who are just following other people and not snapping themselves: Where would you rather get updates of your favourite bloggers?