Better late than first: Is Instagram Stories the new Snapchat?

There was a time in history when it meant something to be first; the first country to journey into space, the first man on the moon, the first to discover gravity, the first to reach the South Pole, or discover the Americas. It doesn’t seem to matter about being first anymore. Look at Motorola or Nokia, they couldn’t compete when the iPhone came bursting onto the scene. It was suddenly ‘so long’ snake, hello smart phone!

Right, just as us, ahem, slightly older social media users are just getting used to Snapchat filters, it seems that it’s no longer flavor of the month.

As a somewhat infrequent Snapchatter and a more frequent Instagram user, it’s not hard to see that something has shifted. It all started when Instagram launched Instagram Stories in August 2016. The reception was initially tepid with plenty user's denouncing it as an inferior dupe of the then golden-boy Snapchat. But, things slowly started to change. There’s tumbleweeds starting to blow over on Snapchat (and no, it’s not a new filter) while bloggers, influencers and brands seemingly flock in their droves to Instagram stories.

Earlier in April, Instagram announced that, their Snapchat doppelganger, Instagram Stories has hit 200 million daily active users, surpassing Snapchat’s last count of 161 million.

Instagram is also getting faster off the mark when it comes to introducing (copying) more features ‘similar’ to Snapchat, such as selfie stickers and pinning, and geostickers in a limited number of cities. All that’s left now is to copy the much loved (and often overused) Snapchat filters.

There’s a lot of things working in Instagram Stories favor such as the expanded community that Instagram offers. It gives brands the opportunity to reach a greater audience in a more organic way, than the more closed off Snapchat. Snapchat has always been a more one-to-one platform and it doesn’t really have the power to connect your brand with like-minded audience members or for your audience to start a community conversation amongst themselves.

For Higher Education institutions, isn’t this the true purpose of social media marketing? To interact and engage with a community of current, past and future students and to hopefully get them to interact with each other. Instagram stories is also a great way to start an open, honest and student-centric conversation. There’s so many ways to reach your audience using Instagram Stories and the good news is, we have lined up some of our current favorites:

Princeton University’s guide to the Farmer Market

Instagram image of a farmer's market at Princeton University

Indiana University celebrates IU Day

Images of 11 students posing for a photo

University of Georgia promotes their Marine extension takeover on Snapchat

Image of a turtle in an aquarium

Elizabethtown College celebrating BlueJay Day with a Blue Jay

Image of a blonde haired woman holing a bird in her hand

How is your university using Instagram Stories? Leave us a comment or send us an email at