With this new feature, will Instagram now go head to head with Snapchat?
The two apps have many more similarities than they did even 12 hours ago, and it appears Facebook is hoping Instagram can compete with Snapchat. (Don’t forget, Snapchat turned downa reported $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook just last month, $2 billion more than Facebook spent on Instagram.)
How closely do the photo-sharing apps match up? We’ve done a side-by-side comparison, Instagram on the left, Snapchat on the right.
Taking a photo
A photo-sharing app wouldn’t be very helpful without the ability to take a photo. Both apps have similar looks, including big, circular capture buttons. Instagram users can upload photos taken from their camera roll outside the app. Snapchat users cannot.
Taking a video
Again, similar screens on both apps, each requiring users to press down and hold on the capture button for the duration of the video. Snapchat videos can run 10 seconds; Instagram videos are 15 seconds. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram users can still upload videos from their phone’s library.
Only Instagram has filters for images and videos. Users can change the lighting or coloring before sharing based on the desired filter.
Snapchat lets users add personal drawings or notes to the photos and videos they send. The drawings can be created in a number of colors from the color palette in the upper righthand corner.
Setting a timer
Another Snapchat-only feature, users can set a timer for how long they would like their image or video to be viewable to those who view it. The timer ranges between 1 and 10 seconds. If Snapchat users wants to share a picture or video publicly with all of their friends, they can add that picture to their Snapchat Story. This means the image or video will be available for an unlimited number of views over a 24-hour period.
In addition to writing words or symbols using the drawing tool, Snapchat users can also add a line of text to their images and videos. Instagram users can add a message or comment to the bottom of the image, but cannot write directly on it.
Sending an image/video
Thanks to Instagram’s update Thursday, both apps enable users to send images and videos directly to other users. Instagram has a 15-person limit on group messages, while Snapchat does not have a limit. However, a Snapchat image disappears after a user views it, meaning prolonged conversations are not possible within the app.
Receiving an image
Both apps have an inbox of sorts for receiving images and videos from friends. On Instagram, this inbox is separate and in addition to the traditional stream of shared content from the people a user follows.
Commenting on an image or video
Instagram users in a one-on-one or group message can comment on a photo or video shared with them. (They can also comment on publicly shared photos and videos in their stream.) This enables users to have back-and-forth discussion about an image. Snapchat users can’t send messages or comment within the app.
Liking an image
This is another Instagram-only feature. Users can double click on an image to show that they like it within the app. This is not exclusive to Instagram messages and include images and videos in their feed.
The content stream
Both apps have a reason to visit regardless of whether or not a user has an unopened message or snap. On Instagram, there is a continuous feed showing all of the images and videos shared by the users you follow. On Snapchat, the new Story feature means that there may be content waiting for you that was not explicitly shared with you as a personal snap.
Depending on how active your friends and followers are, one stream may be more active for you than the other. For most people, Instagram will provide a more continuous flow of new content.
Only Instagram has ads right now. The images that are advertisements appear in the Instagram feed along with a “Sponsored” label in the upper righthand corner.
Saving and sharing photos and video
If you take a snap that you like on Snapchat, you can save it to your photo gallery before sending it to friends. Simply click on the “download” icon in the lower lefthand corner after taking the picture.
On Instagram, photos taken within the app are automatically saved to the user’s photo gallery. Users can also email or share the images they take within the app by clicking on the “…” icon in the lower righthand corner of the post.
Blocking or reporting users
Both apps let users block other users who may be sharing inappropriate images or videos. Instagram also allows users to report people to the Instagram team.
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