Snapchat vs Instagram in 2024: In-Depth User Statistics for Small Business Marketing

As a small business owner, figuring out the best social media platforms to invest your limited time and money into can be an overwhelming task. With so many options out there, how do you know where you‘ll get the biggest return when it comes to driving brand awareness and sales?

In 2023, Instagram and Snapchat continue leading the pack when it comes to engaging users through viral photo and video content. Both platforms now boast over half a billion active monthly users each, but have very different audience demographics.

Understanding these users – who they are and how they engage – is key to determining the right strategic fit for your business. This in-depth look at the latest Snapchat vs Instagram statistics will help inform your decision.

At a Glance: Key User Stats

Before diving into demographics and behaviors, let‘s look at latest overall monthly active user (MAU) figures:

Platform Global MAUs
Instagram 2.23 billion
Snapchat 368 million

With over 6 times as many active users, Instagram dominates here. However, Snapchat still maintains a hugely popular, loyal user base – especially in North America.

Below we’ll analyze the data to uncover more actionable insights for small business marketers.

Battle of The Demographics: Who Are The Users?

They may share similarities like ephemeral Stories and camera-first interfaces, but Instagram and Snapchat users show striking differences across age groups.

Snapchat Resonates Most With Gen Z

Over 90% of Snapchat‘s users fall between age 13 and 34. Of this, 53% are between 13-24 years old.

So Snapchat is hugely popular among Gen Z (age 9-24) who love the casual, silly self-expression encouraged by features like lenses and geofilters.

Millennials and Gen X Drive Instagram‘s Growth

Compare this to Instagram‘s audience, broken down as follows:

  • 32% between 18-29 years
  • 29% between 30-49 years
  • 24% between 50-64 years

Millennials and Gen X (age 25-64) now make up Instagram‘s largest share at 62% combined.

As the first generation to grow up sharing moments online, Millennials remain highly engaged on the platform. Meanwhile, Gen X has steadily increased presence, now using Instagram to connect with brands and influencers.

Small Businesses Takeaway

With a strong Millennial and Gen X user base, Instagram offers the biggest audience of potential customers for many small businesses.

However, certain products like fashion, beauty or snacks may resonate better with Gen Z on Snapchat.

Consider your target demographic and where they are most active before investing your marketing dollars.

User Engagement and Behaviors

Demographics reveal who is on the platforms, but user actions show how central they are in people‘s lives. This indicates how effectively businesses can capture attention and drive conversions.

Let‘s analyze some key engagement metrics for Snapchat vs Instagram.

Instagram Drives More Daily Engagement

On average, Instagram users open the app 28 times per day – often scrolling their feed, posting Stories or interacting with others.

Snapchat trails at around 18 daily sessions per user.

Clearly Instagram contenthooks people‘s attention more effectively throughout the day.

Instagram Stories Trump Snapchat on Users and Views

One major engagement highlight is Stories, which see phenomenal interaction on both platforms.

  • Over 300 million Snapchatters view Stories
  • 500 million Instagrammers watch Stories every day

So Instagram Stories alone achieve more daily views than Snapchat‘s entire user base. This demonstrates the sheer scale possible for businesses to reach new audiences.

And with Story ads, 60% of Instagram viewers voluntarily engage for over 30 seconds. This depth of branded content immersion is rare and valuable.

Snapping Remains a Beloved Daily Habit

However, the 5 billion Snaps created per day prove Snapchat still owns its niche.

The unique intimacy of photo messaging continues to thrive among Gen Z. Snaps received feel more personal than an Instagram feed scroll.

For the right brand, creative Snap Ads that feel native to the Messenger experience offer a compelling way to connect authentically with teens and young adults.

Choose Platforms Aligning With Your Goals

While Instagram delivers mass reach, Snapchat offers a targeted self-selected audience.

As a small business marketer, your platform choice ultimately depends on campaign goals around awareness, engagement or conversions.

Analyze user behaviors on each app to determine the right fit. With a strategic presence across multiple channels, it doesn‘t have to be either/or.

Wrapping Up Key User Takeaways

  • With 2+ billion active users, Instagram continues exponential growth
  • Over 60% of users are Millennials and Gen X (25-54 years old)
  • Snapchat orbits around Gen Z under 25 years old
  • Instagram drives more frequent, longer daily engagement
  • But Snaps and Stories still thrive as beloved creative outlets
  • Align platform choice with your target audience and campaign goals

Turn Insights Into An Effective Social Media Strategy

While the data provides guidance, success requires going beyond vanity metrics. Follow users, analyze performance rigorously, and constantly optimize based on what delivers actual business value.

With the right social media presence, small businesses can punch above their weight to drive measurable growth.

What key user statistics stood out to you? Which platform seems the best fit for your marketing goals? I welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

*Data sources: Oberlo, Wallaroo Media, Statista, Business of Apps and internal Snap Inc. / Meta earnings reports.