First was Snapchat, Instagram followed and finally, Facebook joined in. Each platform of social media has been taken over by micro-storytelling.
Snapchat’s defining feature is its disappearing photos that can be shared publicly, with your followers, or to an individual friend through stories. Instagram jumped on the trend in August 2016 and released its own version of stories. This allowed users to share photos and videos in a slideshow format that disappear after 24 hours. Last but certainly not least, Facebook made their own copycat of stories in their Messenger Day feature and then again with Newsfeed Stories.
So what’s the big difference between Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Messenger Day/Newsfeed Stories and which one will work best for your own business?
This guide will provide the differences for each platform and the information to help you choose which is the best fit for your business.
Before we dive into the differences, you should know the similarities of each platform. The three different platforms have some overlapping features for stories, including:
- Images and videos that disappear
- Only available to create in the mobile app version of the platform
- The ability to see the number of views and who viewers are on your content while it’s live
- The choice to send the photos or videos privately, publicly, or to your followers
- The option to enhance images with text, emojis, filters, and on-screen drawing
Basically, all of the platforms mimic each other and can be used the same, but most importantly, they create urgency to your followers while giving them a less formal, inside look into your business.
While each platform works the same and has a similar goal in mind for using stories, there are little differences that set each apart. Let’s take a look at what makes each platform unique.
Since this platform was the founder of stories, it has a loyal base of followers and an authentic feel.
The most distinctive advantage for Snapchat is geofilters, special overlays for Snapchats that can only be accessed in certain locations. Simply put, they are pretty graphics that dress up a Snapchat and are very similar to digital stickers, except they are actually built into the program. This feature is exclusive to Snapchat and is a fun way for users to advertise for your business.
In terms of affordability and engagement, Instagram is the platform to beat. Instagram features an “explore” section, where your stories can be showcased to other users who do not follow you yet (this would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars on Snapchat). This is the fastest and easiest way to create new followers and promote your business. If you need a refresher on Instagram Stories, check out our previous blog ‘Storytelling Goes to the ‘Gram‘.
Another feature is Instagram Story Ads, which you have to pay for but if are used effectively can be very efficient. Ads showcased in stories allows your business to target them directly to the people you want to reach.
Stories on Instagram are located above all other content at the top of the feed.
Pro tip: Personally, I tend to check out people’s stories before scrolling through regular posts and think this is extremely beneficial to reaching your followers.
Facebook Newsfeed Stories and Messenger Day features work the same, but one is located above the users’ Newsfeed, similar to Instagram, and the other is published in the Messenger app.
Facebook stories can do all of the basic features that other platforms can, but unfortunately, has one limitation. Pages on Facebook do not have access to Stories on Newsfeeds or Messenger Day. Only personal profile users can use this feature.
Yes, this is a major roadblock, but Newsfeed Stories and Messenger Day can still be useful for your business. If you have numerous friends on your personal Facebook account that are loyal or even potential customers, use your personal page to draw attention to your business content.
You’ll never know until you try!
Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s up to you to decide which fits your business and will make you successful! Take a look at where your most followers are and what type of content targets your customers best.
With that being said, stick to what works best for you. For example, if your customers are loyal Snapchat users, keep it up. If you customers are also Facebook friends, Facebook’s stories will give you the upper- hand against competitors.
Once you’ve decided, show your customers an inside look into your business and showcase what makes you special. Tell us — Do you have any go to content for your stories?