Why Branding helped Snapchat fend off Instagram

My take on the whole Instagram / Snapchat thing

tldr; Snapchat wins, in my view people have more of a connection with their audience on Snapchat compared to Instagram.

Due to the low barrier of entry to create stories, Snapchat has stories from a large diverse group of creators.

On the one hand you have people providing vlog (video blog) like and entertaining content for large audiences that feel engaged and involved.

Alongside this you have another set of creators focusing more on giving advice and dropping knowledge on a range of different topics anything from growth hacking to legal advice.

Of course some people just mainly post photos to their story — but this is not really about them.

Thats a lot of stories!

I follow a lot of people of Snapchat and I’m super interested to see the different styles people use to make a story.

From this position I have viewed lots of stories & the general trend (among people with more influence) when Instagram first launched stories was that there was no way they could spend time making stories on both platforms and they would have to decide which to focus on.

Quite a few did initially choose Instagram because “they already had a large following there” but guess what? After less than two weeks almost all of these creators are back on Snapchat!


There seem to be 3 🔑 reasons that these creators are staying on Snapchat:

  • Engagement
  • Snapchat’s unique feel & branding
  • Community

From reaching out to different Snapchat influencers I have discovered that the two types of content creators mentioned earlier agree that the engagement from Snapchat, the community aspect that comes with this engagement and it’s fun unique vibe makes it a winning platform for them.

In Suzanne Nguyen ‘s post she describes these two types of content as “Substance & Candy” — well worth a read!

The fact that Snapchat can appeal to both types of creators and ensure that they keep coming back is more down to the brand and the feel the app rather than just the features such as lenses and filters.

I don’t think I ‘ve seen a filter used in any of Mark Suster’s snapstorms

Some people have been saying that all Instagram stories needs in order to compete with Snapchat is more filters and lenses but I don’t think I have ever seen a filter used in any of Mark Suster’s snapstorms. 🤔

So what keeps him and other creators on the platform? — My guess is the brand and vibe that Snapchat has created.

Let me know what you think!

Are you a storyteller! I’m starting a podcast exploring what makes an engaging story. Would you like to be involved? Reach out (Twitter @russellbarnard or russell@snappd.tech) — Find out more here

I’m co founder of Snappd we are creating the home of vertical video coming soon to iOS