The latest tips, insights and thought leadership from the brilliant minds that brought you Ouma.

Facebook and Instagram stories – what’s the hype?

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Social media stories are on the rise and it all started with Snapchat; introducing the 24-hour disappearing stories feature in 2014 and it certainly caught on quick. It wasn’t long before the likes of Instagram and Facebook followed suit and quickly took over the market.

But which one is more effective?

Each of the platforms all have standout features and used by different audiences, so there is no right or wrong. However, with a bit of audience and platform research you can soon find out which platform will work best for your business.

Let’s start with Instagram:

Instagram stories has over 400 million daily users, even though its growth rate has slowed since beginning just two years ago, it’s still adding tens of millions of users annually.

Worldwide the average Instagram user is under 34, with the gender split between men and women meaning Instagram is best used to market a younger crowd. BUT, it’s not just for this audience to share stories about their lives, favourite food and pet pictures, over 50% of businesses have started to post stories too. Over 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one business… so why not make sure yours is one of them?

Instagram stories are filled with features allowing you to make your stories interactive with the ability to use stickers, location tags and even pose poll questions to your audience for increased engagement.

On top of all these features, Instagram stories can be cross-posted to Facebook stories, allowing you to double your reach without any additional effort.

Instagram is one of the best Stories platforms and in 2019 most businesses should be using it to increase brand awareness in some form.

Moving swiftly on to Facebook;

Instagram is owned by Facebook and uses the same Stories platform and as mentioned above it is easy to cross-post your content.

Unsurprisingly though, Facebook stories is one of the fastest growing Stories platform on the market with over 300 million users daily.

However, the Facebook Stories features are currently limited (in comparison to that of Instagram). There is currently no way to add interactive elements to Stories, but it is possible to add stickers, filters and other visual content.

One way in which Facebook excels from the rest is the ability to view Facebook Stories on desktop and Facebook mobile website which isn’t currently possible with other Stories platforms.

And last but not least, Snapchat;

Used by a very young crowd, 78% of them are between 18 and 24 years old with 188 million daily active users.

Snapchat Stories are more attractive to advertisers than businesses who are looking to grow their audience organically. And why? Because this particular platform has a dedicated Ad platform.

Brands can make custom filters and display them in hyper-specific locations around the world. Other than this feature Snapchat Stories are quite limited, and it's very difficult to build an organic following on the network.

Snapchat would only benefit businesses who are looking to target Snapchat's demographic and can make use of the location-based ads.

Rachel's Expert Advice:

" We use all sorts of platforms to amplify our customer's content, but find that from a Story perspective, Instagram is the best performer.

Instagram allows for much more interactivity when it comes to creating stories and it's highly utilised function on that platform whereas it's still currently quite new to the likes of Facebook.

However, for the sake of being able to press 'Share to Facebook' on your Instagram stories, it's always worthwhile cross-sharing to maximise your audience reach.

One thing that businesses need to remember when creating stories is that they're not necessarily meant to be polished. They're meant to be a little quirky, fun and engaging (hence the crazy stickers and various additions available).

Overall, I would recommend actively posting on both Instagram and Facebook Stories, as combined, have an audience of over a billion people – that’s certainly not an opportunity of exposure you’d want to miss.

However, we’re not saying to completely rule out Snapchat Stories. If you're targeting a younger audience and can invest in location-based ads, then it may be worthwhile considering as a marketing platform for your business."