Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat Stories for destinations: Part 2

Katie Shriner

24 October 2016

The quest for the best in-the-moment storytelling tool continues. In part one, we looked at some of the advantages of using Instagram Stories to share the less-polished, more personal side of your destination. How does the Snapchat Stories platform compare?

Snapchat Stories went live in 2013. Like Instagram, it allows users to curate content that can be viewed unlimited times over a 24-hour period. With this head start on Instagram Stories, some brands and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) have had plenty of experience using the product to connect with users.

Here are just a few reasons your destination should consider using Snapchat Stories:

Image: Snapchat, visitphilly

Image: Snapchat, visitphilly

  1. Being real and having fun: Like Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories allow DMOs to connect with users in a real way. For Philadelphia’s tourism department, the key to connecting with users is fun. Over the past few months, their stories have included an invitation to model for Philadelphia tourism photos, a celebrity chef takeover and clues for a beer-garden scavenger hunt. Stylistically, the stories are heavy on emojis and text, adding to the playfulness of the channel.
  1. It’s millennial-friendly: Snapchat is definitely tailored to the younger crowd, as 60 percent of U.S. users are under 25. Destinations should keep this in mind and look to develop niche content that mirrors the interests of those users.
  1. Visitor service opportunities: Snapchat’s focus on live, one-to-one communication through the chat feature gives operators and visitor centres the opportunity to provide better service. Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb ski resort has been diligent about responding to questions through Snapchat, because each interaction creates “potentially another guest that we didn’t have before,” says Digital Brand Strategist Nina Arnold.
  1. Spectacles: Snapchat recently rebranded to Snap, Inc., to reflect their growing product offerings, which now includes Spectacles. This wearable tech consists of sunglasses with two cameras embedded on each side and a button to begin recording your Snaps. This could be a game changer for Snapchat Stories for a number of reasons. First, the cameras employ a 115-degree lens, which more closely approximates a person’s field of vision (Goodbye, shaky handheld video). Second, the device reportedly takes a day’s worth of Snaps on a single charge. DMOs could consider incorporating Spectacles into hiking and biking tours, events, shopping trips and food and wine tours. Spectacles could also be sent to influencers and travelers to wear during their visit.

Now that we’ve looked at what both Instagram Stories and Snapchat have to offer for destinations, what’s your verdict? Tell us why you or your team choose one platform over the other in the comments.

Featured image credit: Baker County Tourism, Flickr


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