Bottle Royale: The Ultimate Snapchat Story vs. Instagram Story Battle You've Been Waiting For

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Today is the three-month anniversary of the roll-out of the Instagram story (yes, we've been counting), and while some of our editors just now updated their phone and were confused by the new circles at the top of their Insta feed (*cough* our voices editor Jacqui *cough*), our editor-in-chief Christianna Silva and managing editor Mia Moran are hip and on top of things.

And they have ~feelings.~

So we put them in the ring for a Bottle Royale (ha, ha), and then we decided to publish the transcript for your edification.


Mia: I love you, Christianna, but Instagram stories are trash. Period.

Christianna: Mia, I love you, too, but your opinion is trash. Period. The great thing about Insta stories is that you can stalk celebrities and strangers and not feel creepy about it. But you can’t just up and follow all your favorite models and makeup artists on Snapchat and feel okay with your life.

M: When Instagram stories were first featured, I actually thought, “They can get away with this?” It’s a direct copy of Snapchat, minus all the fun. For the Instagram accounts I already follow, I rarely check the Instagram story—and when I do, it’s usually just a repost of their Snap story.

C: Okay, but Snapchat demands that you use photos of what you’re doing AT THAT EXACT MOMENT or you get that trash white border around it. I like people to think I’m always having fun all the time. You can do that with Insta stories. I have literally posted Insta stories of a fun dinner with real food while eating popcorn without pants on my bed. Insta stories give off the idea of ~mystery~ and *fun* that Snap stories just don’t have.

M: I think that’s what I enjoy about Snapchat, though—it’s spur of the moment—


C: But that’s not TOTALLY true. You still get to edit your photos and add dog noses to it. So it’s still a better version of what you’re actually doing—you just don’t get to be completely in control of that image.

M: I guess it largely depends what you’re hoping to get out of each app. I only have my close friends on Snapchat, so it’s essentially an enhanced messaging app for me. Instagram, on the other hand, is more of a curated “photography” platform for me. I put a lot more time into editing photos and coming up with the right caption. Having to curate another form of “content” on Instagram just feels beyond its purpose, given the way I use it.

C: Because it’s FUN, Mia, dammit! It’s all about branding and I can’t figure out how to ~brand~ myself on Snapchat, whereas it’s v easy on Insta stories.

M: But it’s not fun for me to post on yet ANOTHER social media app! I also don’t actively try to ~brand~ myself using Snapchat or Instagram—unintentionally, sure, but that’s not my number one purpose.

C: That’s the thing! You’re ALREADY on Instagram! Snapchat is the OTHER APP.

M: But it’s the other app with a different purpose! I log onto Instagram to see people’s pretty pictures. I log into Snapchat to see what silly shit my friends are up to and what new animal I can put on my face today.

C: That’s one of the problems with Snapchat, though They prioritize content creation. So you’re interested in gettin' yo face on the app. But Instagram stories prioritize consumption, so as a consumer, I far prefer Instagram stories—you can see when someone’s clips end, it’s easier to flip to the next one, and people are more aware of what they’re posting so you get fewer #shitposts. On Snapchat, it’s all about how much you can post—and you can make and publish one so quick (one second) that it doesn’t actually matter to the people you’re communicating with. It's all about the person posting. (I use too many dashes sry.)

M: I agree that a lot of Snapchat is shit—but that’s almost why I enjoy it? It’s cute and stupid a lot of the time and I appreciate the quick, frivolousness of it all.


C: So basically what you’re saying is that if you like your content better, you should use Insta stories, but if you like it shit, use Snap?


M: I think if your aim is to message friends and see some occasional lighthearted branded content, then Snapchat is your app. If you are more interested in keeping a public, curated feed and want to see others do the same, then Instagram stories is where it’s at. I think it largely depends on what you hope to gain from either app.

C: I agree. Luv u bb.

M: Luv u, too, girl (but I still wouldn’t care if Instastories were gone tomorrow byyyyyyye).

Mia is an aspiring cat lady and obsessed with books, beauty, and pop culture. By day she works in publishing in New York City, and by night she can be found in bed, drinking Moscato and binge-watching YouTube videos.

Christianna is an adventurous, optimistic feminist who can hold her own in a few topics: politics, music, baking and books. At a party, you can find her consoling the hostess’s pets and sipping a gin and tonic.