Instagram launched the latest update to its app over the summer- Instagram Stories. Almost a carbon copy of Snapchat, Stories enables users to take images or record video that remains live for 24 hours.

Instagram has a reported 300 daily million users, compared to Snapchat’s 150 daily million. Placing the tool front and center, Instagram is giving headline billing for this new feature. With two such seemingly similar tools, how are the platforms different from each other?

Sorting: Snapchat displays snaps and user updates chronologically, whereas Instagram displays updates from Stories depending on which users you interact with. Stories from your favorite Instagrammers will be displayed at the start of the feed.

Drawing tools: Instagram’s drawing tools seem to be more advanced when comparing them to Snapchat. I’ve always found the Snapchat tools a little fiddly to handle (especially if I make a mistake!) Instagram’s are easier to access, and I especially like the highlighter style drawing tool.

Geo filters: Instagram Stories don’t currently have any geofilter options, something which as been a big draw for users of Snapchat. We’ve seen special filters linked to events like the Olympics on Snapchat, and this is a functionality that Instagram might have to introduce if it wants to attract and keep fans of filters.

Snap shelf life: Instagram Stories only allows pictures from your camera roll that have been taken in the past 24 hours. Snapchat enables posting of photos from any date, a feature that is a big draw for users who want to share throwback posts and archive material.

Engagement: higher levels of interaction have been reported on Instagram Stories, a trend that can be attributed to more users and the novelty factor of a new tool. Both brands and users like myself have experienced larger levels of engagement and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

So which platform should you choose? As a content creator I firmly believe it is good to experiment with both platforms, seeing where your biggest reach is and where you experience the largest levels of engagement. Don’t abandon one platform the other altogether, and instead focus on creating content that is unique to both platforms. This will not only help you develop the content you are producing, but will also provide you with an insight over time into which platform is best for your audience.

What are your thoughts on Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.