Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say, and Snapchat knows that well. Three years after its big launch of Snapchat Stories in 2013, Instagram launched its own version of Stories. Seven months after Instagram Stories’ launch, Facebook created Facebook Stories. So now we have the Stories feature on three of the four largest social networks… How do you choose which one is the best fit for your brand?

If you aren’t familiar, here are the ways Stories are the same across all three platforms:

  • All Stories last 24 hours – after that, they disappear.
  • There’s a 10 second max length for each video and photo.
  • You can shoot and record images and videos full screen through the app, or you can upload photos and videos from your camera roll to add to your story. (Although when uploading content, it appears differently on Facebook and Instagram than on Snapchat.)
  • Add to your photos and videos with text, drawings, emoji and filters.
  • Followers can pick and choose which Stories they want to view.
  • Followers can swipe up to reply to Stories directly.
  • The creator of the Story can view who has watched his or her Story.

Differences Between Stories

For the most part, there are more similarities than differences between platforms, but the differences can alter how you create content for each.

Unfortunately, because Facebook Stories is so new, the feature is only available for personal pages and only viewable through the mobile app. But we predict it’s only a matter of time before Facebook opens up the Stories feature for brand pages.

One of the main differences between Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories is the way each displays uploaded content – that is, photos and videos that were not shot within the app.

  • Snapchat: When you upload content to a story, it places a large white border around the image or video so the viewer clearly knows that your content has been prerecorded or shot. This feature is an intentional way for Snapchat to encourage original, happening-now content.

Tip: When creating a Snapchat Story, consider creating a shot list, like you would for a video or photoshoot, before creating your story. Your Story will still look organic, but well thought out and professional. Taco Bell does a great job of this. Check out itsSnapchat Story of Taco Bell Menu Hacksand its impressive fictional short story ofThe Mystery of the Missing Taco. (Fun fact: Taco Bell has dedicated in-house Snapchat team whose sole job is creating content for Snapchat Stories.)

  • Instagram: When content is uploaded to a story, it displays in the same full-screen format as if it were taken right then and there. This is a nice feature for brands as it allows more freedom to use professional, styled shots. But for followers, this could create a less organic and authentic feel than Snapchat Stories.

E! News puts a creative spin on uploading its own content. Check out a small clip of E! News’ The Rundown segment on Instagram Stories.

instagram story

A unique feature that differentiates Instagram Stories from Snapchat Stories is the ability to add links to your Story. When a link is added to a story, viewers will see “See More” at the bottom of the screen. From there, viewers can tap to view the link inside the app. This feature is huge for ecommerce brands, bloggers and social media influencers because it’s an easy and effective way to drive consumers to your website.

P.S. This feature is being tested and is currently only available to verified Instagram pages.

lush cosmetics

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InQuest Marketing

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