“Ask L2” is a weekly series where we answer questions about all things digital.

Question: Snapchat or Instagram Stories: Which should I prioritize?

Both platforms have massive audiences with Instagram Stories surpassing 100 million daily active users in just two months and Snapchat maintaining 150 million. Snapchat gives brands access to a younger audience, but Instagram Stories allows brands to leverage their established profile rather than attempt to migrate their following to yet another platform and rebuild their presence.

During this year’s Fall New York Fashion Week, Fashion brands were evenly split between the two platforms: 57% posted to Instagram Stories and 53% posted to Snapchat.


While both options air content for just 24 hours, they require distinct approaches. Instagram Stories posts, like traditional Instagram content, is higher quality and aspirational while Snapchat content is authentic and raw.


Regardless of the platform of choice, a big struggle for brands has been their inability to maintain consistent publishing cadence. Of the 36 brands active on Snapchat during New York Fashion Week, only Rebecca Minkoff posted on all 10 days and half of the active brands posted on three days or less—two days leading up to their show, and the day of their show.


This is a clear missed opportunity for brands that fail to capitalize on post-runway interviews and other easily accessible content. Considering the platform’s cheap production costs and 100% organic reach, there is no reason why brands should not take advantage of these opportunities.

Even as brands master Snapchat and Instagram Stories, they need to be aware of new platforms that enter the market and whether they present opportunity. For example, Facebook’s Messenger is testing a Snapchat-like platform with Messenger Day in smaller markets, and in the Asian market, South Korean app Snow has solidified its footing thanks to China’s block on Snapchat.



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