Over the past few years, spontaneous, camera-first communication has become more popular especially with the millennial generation. Innovators at Instagram and Facebook noticed how in demand this trend has become, thanks to Snapchat who pioneered a whole new realm of content creation with its inception in 2013. Now, each platform is constructing their version of these in-the-moment, visual interactions. But that begs the question: what makes them different? Why do users need that many forms of 24-hour quick content to worry about every day? Personally, I think I’ll be sticking to Snapchat for comical communication with my friends, Instagram stories for a more curated narrative, and remain undecided about Facebook stories.
Join me as I break down the capabilities of each platform and decide for yourself, what’s your story?
Let’s start with the OG of the short form content game – Snapchat.
Since we’ve all had a few years to play around with Snapchat, most of us are aware of the capabilities. Once you take your picture or video, there is a broad range of color enhancing filters, speed adjustments, geo-filters, stickers (including your own Bitmoji you can customize and link up), and everyone’s favorite, interactive lenses. This feature is where Snapchat enjoys the upper hand as the two other platforms haven’t caught up yet. Brands ranging from beauty, television and food industries pay large media buy-in’s to create branded interactive lenses in an effort to raise awareness for their brands. However, since Snapchat has been around the longest and the other story options are relatively new, I’m sure we can expect to see paid lenses on both Instagram and Facebook very soon. People use Snapchat stories in so many innovative ways for themselves, their brands, and even passion projects. Shoutout to my favorite Snapchat story every day: @SnapListing. Created by a group of millennial NYC Real Estate Agents, you can follow this account to get a taste of on-the-market listings every day and contact them if you’re in the market for a new place (or just love real estate like myself). This is an excellent example of how different niches can monopolize on stories.
Most recently, Snapchat has added a world lenses feature that users are going crazy over. Stay tuned for our next blog on this new capability.
Next up is Instagram stories.
Originally launched back in August 2016, the stories feature has gained popularity gradually, now with over 200 million users taking advantage of the feature each day. Influencers and celebrities individually take to this feature to show snippets of their daily lives and humanize themselves past their picture perfect aesthetics. Instagram story’s appeal over Snapchat is that, for the most part, you have a much further reach with your Instagram following than your Snapchat account. Especially since many people reserve Snapchat exclusively to their real life friends versus Instagram where you most likely have a handful of followers you’ve never met before, this allows you to show a wider audience details about your lifestyle. While this platform has no interactive face lenses, it does include the full range of emoji stickers, color enhancement filters, a glowing brush tool for fun handwritten additions, and, in my opinion, the cutest customizable geo-targeted stickers to share your location with friends. They also recently added the selfie sticker option, which allows you to take pictures of your face and superimpose them onto movie posters, celebrities bodies, or just make it look like you’re watching over your shoulder.
Lastly, Facebook rolled out stories for everyone to view at the top of their News Feeds as of late March.
Late last year, the company had often talked in press meetings of how they intended to focus the direction of the platform toward video content and capabilities in the coming months. This feature is a perfect route to segway Facebook into an interactive video platform; after so many years of being a space to update your family members on life events & show everyone you’ve become a real live grown-up!
It wasn’t love at first launch, at least for me, doubting Facebook’s ability to put forward the same type of quality and interactive capabilities as Snapchat has in the past. With a slow start, they rolled out a couple of animated facial lenses, a batch of stickers, and the ability to privately message the pictures to your friends per protocol. However, over the past week or so, they have already stepped up their game with a selection of more stickers, interesting texturizing filters, and new lenses, including one from a favorite artist of mine; Hattie Stewart. If Facebook continues collaborations with artists’ for their lenses – they might just steal my heart away from Snapchat altogether. It’s still unclear to most what types of content people will choose to post on their Facebook stories, but so far I see a lot of puppy videos, and that’s fine by me.
Depending on your style, there might be a story you feel fits for who you’re trying to reach and how you want to get them best. Now that you have more background information on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories, Tweet us @Socialfly and let us know your favorite! If you like them all, do what we do & post to each – there’s no shame in that game.