Snapchat Vs Instagram Vs TikTok: Which Should You Use For A Gen-Z Audience

With the advanced use of social media platforms, and the latest trends and features the platforms keep introducing in their outline, there is no shortage of options when it comes to brands creating their social presence to reach their target audience. The question, then, rests upon which platform the brands should be used to cater to their audience. With a more general target, having a Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn account may do the trick. But if you’re looking to target a more specific audience like that of Gen-Z, a mere facebook presence won’t do you much good. Although the platform has a vast amount of tools and features that help businesses, it isn’t well-suited for the new generation’s taste.

Therefore, in order to access the Gen-Z audience, you need to have a social presence on platforms they’re more prone to using. This includes Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. But which one is a better platform to use for a bigger Gen-Z audience? That depends upon your brand, the content you’re looking to create, and the exposure you will receive as a result. To give you a better idea, we’ve compiled a comparison chart for better results.

Audience

Snapchat

About 71% of people who use Snapchat report they do so mostly or only for messaging their peers, with more than 60% of communications being among close friends. The app has about 382 million users, out of which 73% consists of 18 to 24-year-olds. Moreover, about 46% of Snapchat users aren’t on Instagram, making SC the only platform where that audience can be reached.

Instagram

Easily the biggest platform of all the three mentioned in this blog, Instagram has about 1 billion users, with more than 60% of them using the app at least once every day. About 67% of the total users are between 18 to 29-year-olds. Surveys show that most people use the platform for topics like food, clothes, fashion, beauty, music, and entertainment.

TikTok

TikTok, the youngest of all three apps, has a user-base of 800 million. The platform is mainly used to make creative and humorous short videos. About 69% of the users are between 18-24 years of age on the app.

Discoverability

Snapchat

The app has a discover feature that mostly consists of famous brands and celebrities, like Goop. Due to the disappearing feature of Snapchat’s stories, the for you section doesn’t really go too far into showing you a variety of content.

Instagram

Instagram perhaps has the most advanced and user-friendly search and explore feature available of all the three platforms mentioned in this comparison. The explore feature shows content curated on the basis of a user’s previous searches and interests. This makes this discover feature specific to every user’s needs. Moreover, now Instagram also has a ‘shop’ feature in its discoverability tab, making it easier for businesses to showcase their products to the audience.

TikTok

Although relatively new, TikTok still has more discover features compared to Snapchat. Users can watch the content of whoever they’re following, on their feed. Content is also curated on the user’s feed by the app based on whatever TikTok’s algorithm thinks the user will be interested in.

Content

Snapchat

Brands can take advantage of the 24-hour limit of Snapchat by posting last-minute giveaways, contests, etc to increase their engagement without having to hold the promotion for more than the specified time limit the app allows. Furthermore, brands can curate unique and creative content through Snapchat’s AR filters while also direct traffic to their website through swipe-up features in their stories.

Instagram

Instagram has high standards for aesthetic content. Most images and videos are filtered and then posted on the feed, making them look aesthetically satisfying and increasing the competition. Raw and BTS content is more suited to be posted on stories. This aesthetic feel is perfect for some brands, while for others it can get too complex to beat.

TikTok

User-Generated Content has a lot of hold on people’s interests in TikTok. This means that brands that have a more relevant UGC campaign have better chances of succeeding on the platform.

Engagement

Snapchat

Compared to other apps, most brands prefer Snapchat to engage with their audience as the platform allows them to create close, one-on-one relationships with customers.

Instagram

According to a survey, more than 79% of Gen-Z prefers using Instagram to engage with brands, rather than any other platform. Further, it’s reported that brands experience more engagement through their Instagram stories. A survey showed that Snapchat story engagements fell to 40% when Instagram introduced stories on its own platform.

TikTok

Since most of the content featured on TikTok consists of humor and fleets, the platform may not be suitable for most brands.

Advertising

Snapchat

The cost of Snap Ads starts at $3000 / month on an ad spend, which is not really beneficial for small businesses. Sponsored lenses have different costs depending on the occasion or the day of the week. Snapchat Discover ads, that have premium placement, start at about $50,000, reserved mostly for big brands or publishers.

One of the disadvantages of Snapchat ads is that it doesn’t provide detailed analytics as Instagram does. Most brands have to track their ad performance manually, and the tools that can provide these analytics are too expensive to take advantage of.

Instagram

Although Instagram ads can even be sponsored through Facebook’s business platform, they don’t receive the same visibility as Snapchat ads. The latter is certainly more expensive than Instagram, but its ads also get better engagement from the audience.

But, the analytics provided by Instagram is more easily trackable, specific to stories, posts, videos, etc called Instagram insights. Furthermore, there are a lot of external apps that can be used for analytics on Instagram.

TikTok

TikTok’s ad platform is still in its initial stages, and advertising is only offered on a cost per thousand impression basis. According to reports, ads on TikTok are also expensive, just like Snapchat, making it unideal for small businesses.

These were the differences between all the three apps for you to advertise for your Gen-Z audience. Recent reports have shown that TikTok has taken over Instagram as the second-best app to reach teenagers, with the top being Snapchat.

Even with these preferences, there’s no doubt that Instagram is constantly making changes and developing its algorithms to make the platform more suitable for brands to reach their audience. Whichever the preferences might be, the app that you choose for your audience depends as much on the audience’s age as on the kind of content you are aiming to create.

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

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