A 5 minute read by Allie Blinder, Social Media Manager & Conor Fry, Performance Analyst
In 2017, there are two types of people. People who are buddies with the dancing ghost, and people who are in love with Facebook’s sister. With Snapchat and Instagram competing so valiantly against one another, what makes a person prefer one platform over the other?
Swarmer’s Allie and Conor give their perspective on which platform they prefer and why it deserves to be the No. 1 app for everyone’s thumbs.
Allie and Conor, which platform do you prefer and why?
Allie: Instagram has always been my favorite platform. In college, I majored in photojournalism, so I’ve always been partial to a platform that heavily relies on visuals. As a fan of sarcasm, puns and wittiness, a person who has A+ photos and on-point captions is a winner in my book. It has basically everything I need and want on a social media platform.
Conor: Now, don’t get me wrong, Instagram is great for people who love scrolling through hundreds of pictures, testing the limits of their thumb pressing abilities and love high-quality photos. But for everyone else that isn’t a savvy photographer (I’m jealous of your skills, Allie) and loves laughing at content that’s not stolen directly from Reddit, Snapchat is there. Snapchat is just so much more personal than Instagram and it always has been, that’s partly why Instagram loves cherry picking from Snapchat.
Which features of your chosen platform are your favorite and why?
A: I like that people can choose between posting a photo that stays forever or is just a quick blip in an Instagram Story. Snapchat is too temporary/transient for me. I also like that you can save other people’s photos in the app and create collections. This has been so helpful when saving home decor ideas, wedding inspirations, dream travel spots and more. My saved collection is almost like a mini Pinterest board!
I could really go on and on about the Instagram features that I like because there are THAT many. It might be because I’m a Social Media Manager, but I adore having so many features in one place. The less clicking and closing I have to do, the better.
C: First and foremost, it has to be the filters. Snapchat turned the game upside down when it dropped those babies on us and changed how we communicate. Who doesn’t want to transpose themselves on to a panda swinging from a Eucalyptus tree with the sweet sweet sounds of the Bee Gee’s hit song "Staying Alive" playing in the background? Anyone? Just me? Alright moving on.
The second reason has to be the stories, specifically sponsored stories (WHICH INSTAGRAM STOLE MIGHT I ADD). In today’s world, so many people don’t have time to sit down and read a newspaper or scroll through every page of their favorite news websites. Snapchat sponsored stories give you a high-level overview of all the big-hitting events of the past couple days. There’s also the event stories. Whether it’s big sporting events or a parade, Snapchat gives users the abilities to aggregate all their great snaps and share it with everyone not at the event so they can feel like they’re there.
Why do you think some people are so adamantly one platform versus the other?
A: I think it all comes down to personal preference and why you’re on social media to begin with. For my personal life, I love that I can announce special events, celebrate friends and family, take quick videos and photos, add in geo-filters and emoji stickers and search the world by hashtag, all in one place! Snapchat allows you to do that as well, I’m just not a fan of the time limit.
Snapchat’s newest feature, Maps, is creepy AF to me. So yet another reason I’m not a huge fan of the ghost.
Side rant - If I’m going to watch your story on either platform, I want to know how long it is without having to click 7,000 times to get to the end of it. 5 points to Instagram for giving me the rundown from the get-go.
C: I think people like Instagram because it’s a form of validation. There’s such an emphasis on the number of likes people get, it’s almost a form of currency to some people. Back in college there was a guy in our friend group who was obsessed with his Instagram. He sent a message in our group chat asking if we had all liked his photo yet so he could get to 100 likes…..ARE YOU KIDDING ME! It’s that type of mentality that turns people off from Instagram. But hey, like the social media guru said before, it just comes down to personal preference. If you like being able to communicate with the masses then Instagram’s for you. If you like a more personal touch, then Snapchat is for you.
Allie’s right though, Snapchat maps is really creepy. But isn’t every social media a little creepy? I mean Facebook (who owns Instagram) tracks everything on you plus the kitchen sink. (Pro tip: close your social media apps if you don’t want to be tracked when you’re not using them.)
Pro/Con your app for me
A: TIME TO SHINE INSTA-BABY!
C: Where’s my panda at???
What is a dream feature that you would love to be added to your app?
A: At the risk of sounding like I want Instagram to copy Snapchat again, I will say that it would be sweet if the Gram offered more news info. It would be sa-weet to get all of the news organizations IG Stories wrapped up into one story so I could click once and ba-da-boom ba-da-bing, The Skimm is brought to life visually by all the news organizations!
C: Gamified filters. How fun would it be if you could play games with friends through a filter? Golden Tee anyone?
I’m still not sure which platform has my heart...give me an elevator pitch for your app.
A: Instagram is the friend you can almost always rely on to keep you updated, laughing and inspired, whereas Snapchat is the flakey friend who when they show up, you can usually count on a good time, but more often than not, they’re not that great. Yet another reason why the ghost is the perfect icon for Snapchat.
C: Instagram is the friend that you see out one night, talk to for five minutes and then go about your separate ways. Snapchat is the friend you can rely on to bring over a six-pack and listen to how bad your week’s been. Who would you rather have in your corner?
We’ve battled it out. Which team do you side with?