Content ideasDigital/multimedia

Differences between Instagram and Snapchat stories


If you’ve logged into your Instagram recently and been confused by the icons of the users you follow that now appear at the top of your feed screen, you’ve come to the right post. There’s no need to be alarmed or to reinstall the app, what you’re seeing is Instagram’s answer to Snapchat stories.

Tapping on the icons gives you access to a stream of pictures and/or short videos from that user that last for up to 24 hours. The pictures and videos are slightly editable by the user before they’re uploaded and the stream allows for a more concise “story” to be told because unlike the main Instagram feed, everything appears in order of upload and from a single user at a time. For example, I just spent about two minutes becoming increasingly jealous of Lizzie’s vacation in Wyoming after checking out her feed before being teleported to a friend’s three-minute story about his birthday night-out in Toronto.

Because everyone knows that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I naturally had to do a little poking around into the ins and outs of Instagram’s newest foray into storytelling and (clickbait warning) WHAT I FOUND MAY SHOCK YOU.*

*but probably won’t


Snapchat has ’em. Instagram doesn’t.

Aside from the fact that everyone loves an emoji, Snapchat’s ability to paste emojis on your images and videos instead of typing them in through your keyboard allows you to change their size, orientation and saves you on valuable character count.

No stickers in Instagram.
Instagram lacks sticker love.

Snapchat loves a sticker.
Snapchat gives you ALL the stickers!

Point to Snapchat.

Pen tool

Instagram busted out of the gate with three solid pen/writing tool options  — a regular pen, an angled calligraphy pen and (for lack of a better term) a magic pen. Instagram also allows you to change the width of your writing.

Snapchat gives you a little more variation in terms of color selection, but no different styles or widths.

Neither app will improve your fingerwriting.

"Magic" pen!
Instagram’s “magic” pen.

Snapchat pen
Snapchat’s pen could use an upgrade.

Point to Instagram.


Arguably one of Snapchat’s coolest new features is the ability to place a rotating group of filters over your face for your selfies or videos. The usefulness of filters as a storytelling tool is debatable, but gosh is it fun.

Instagram is just not quite there … yet?

Instagram lacks filters.
Me-ouch. No wacky filters in Instagram.

Snapchat filter love
Words cannot describe the joy I receive from Snapchat filters.

About 10,000 points to Snapchat.

The winner is…

EVERYONE. Everyone is a winner and gets a chicken dinner.

While I was not able to find any significantly killer features that Instagram has over Snapchat from my HIGHLY scientific research into the two platforms, what I can say is that Instagram’s most recent update is slick and simple to use and will offer journalists and newsrooms further ways to better engage with their followers.

The fact that icons for user stories populate right at the top of the main feed means your content has a greater chance of being seen, rather than getting potentially lost by the somewhat mysterious Instagram algorithm. And any social media platform that encourages people to experiment with shooting video is very excellent in my humble opinion.

I will say this though, because I think it bears repeating — FILTERS FILTERS FILTERS.

Still curious? Find GateHouse Newsroom on Snapchat at @ghnewsroom to see a little more about what we think …

(Visited 452 times, 1 visits today)
Previous post

Healthy competition? Instagram stories vs Snapchat

Next post

AP Stylebook punctuation guide: brackets, colon and dash