Instagram vs. Snapchat : Which is Best for Your Brand?

Wondering whether to spend your time promoting your brand on Snapchat or Instagram? Your target audience is the key factor in determining which social platform is best. If your target audience is female between 18-29 years old then these are definitely among the best social platforms for your brand. Even though the audience demographics are very similar between Snapchat and Instagram, audience size and engagement vary greatly.

Instagram vs. Snapchat : 2017 Stats

With Instagram's recent announcement of disappearing photos and videos within the direct message feature, the similarities between Instagram and Snapchat are becoming greater. Just this week, Instagram's Stories feature (the ephemeral photo/video feature) has surpassed Snapchat's  Stories feature in number of users with 200 million users daily posting self-deleting stories to the app.

Stories are compilations of photos and videos with slick editing (text, filters, stickers) that last 24 hours.
— Forbes
Instagram Stories : Photos and/or videos edited and shared for 24 hours before auto deletion.

Instagram Stories : Photos and/or videos edited and shared for 24 hours before auto deletion.

So how does a brand decide which social platform to use when you have limited to spend on social media? Take a look at Instagram and Snapchat's 2017 statistics and user demographics for starters.


2017 Stats : Snapchat / Instagram

Total Number of Monthly Active Users

600 Million

300+ Million

% Female/Male Users

68/32

70/30

Dominant Countries

80% of users are outside the US.
77.6 Million US users.

Ireland has the most users.
Snapchat reaches 11% of the US population.

Age Demographics

28% of Internet users between
ages 18-29 are on Instagram 

45% of users are between 18-24


Summary : Snapchat vs. Instagram

Women Rule Snapchat & Instagram

Whether you're looking at Instagram or Snapchat, your target audience should be predominantly female. If you are marketing to men or a more even balance of the genders you should consider platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, all of which have a stronger male to female user ratio.

Instagram Has a Larger Audience Than Snapchat But...

While Instagram has double the monthly users of Snapchat, you should also consider things like growth rate and depth of engagement. Snapchat has reported strong growth quarter over quarter and has a very engaged audience most of whom open the app up to 18 times per day.

If reach is important then Instagram is your platform, especially since it's owned by Facebook and has a larger network for paid advertising. However, if you are more interested in a smaller, but more engaged audience then Snapchat may be the better option.

Users are Global

If your brand or business is solely focused on US customers then you'll want to be strategic about how you use these platforms since both have a staggering number of global, non-US users. Paid advertising can be targeted to specific countries and hashtags can further help narrow your message to the right audience.

If you're a global brand or looking to gain international exposure then either channel is a good option. 

The Millennials are on Snapchat

No surprise here, but the newer the platform the younger the audience is likely to be. That's because new adopters of social platforms tend to be millennial or younger. As a social platform grows and matures, so does it's audience. Remember when your parents had never heard of Facebook? Now they are chatting with their friends in Facebook Messenger.

Instagram is actually only a few years older than Snapchat, but you can already start to see a slight difference in age of users. Instagram users, while still considered 'young', are slightly older than the average Snapchat user. 

Either platform will put your brand in front of the below-30 crowd. If your trying to reach the 18-24 crowd specifically, Snapchat is a good choice.

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