No, You’re Not Imagining It: More People Use Instagram Stories Than Snapchat

Social Media Week

Is Instagram finally beating Snapchat at its own game? More than 200 million people use Instagram Stories daily, a figure that has eclipsed Snapchat’s most recent active user estimate of 160 million.

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There is now hard evidence to support what you may have anecdotally suspected for weeks. Instagram Stories are officially more popular than Snapchat itself.

More than 200 million people now use Instagram stories daily, according to a blog post from the Facebook-owned company, which means that adoption is up more than 30 percent since January. Snapchat’s latest audience estimate, revealed during Snap Inc.’s IPO, is 160 million daily active users and its growth has been slowing per recent reports.

This trend is not all that surprising when you consider that Instagram has 600 million active users on its platform—a massive audience to which it can promote new product features (like Instagram stories) and drum up usage by prominently featuring friends’ stories at the top of the app’s home screen.

Instagram Stories first launched in August 2016, which means that it took roughly seven months to get a third of its user base creating Stories on a daily basis. Helping fuel the momentum has been a slew of differentiated creative tools and filters that have made it worthwhile to create and share content on Instagram.

In fact, just this week, Instagram rolled out selfie stickers that can move with objects—a feature that Snapchat has had for awhile—and a new “Wizard of Oz”-esque feature that allows you to superimpose your selfie onto a layered photo.


Facebook’s investment in visual content has been apparent across all of its properties, including WhatsApp and Facebook, where adoption has been tepid, at least among my own connections.

The inclusion of “stories-like” features on these platforms has led to some push-back and criticism from users. This quip about the addition of such features within Microsoft Excel made me chuckle:

It will be interesting to see if users opt to adopt story-making as a core behavior on each of the platforms they use, or if this behavior will streamline the creation of ephemeral content within a single app. Forbes recently remarked that Instagram’s momentum could spell trouble for Snapchat.

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Katie Perry

Contributor, Social Media Week

Katie Perry is a marketing & content strategist and contributor to SMW News, a leading news platform covering startups, tech, brands and the future of work. You can follow Katie on Twitter at @katieeperry.

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