A Fall 2015 Business Insider survey concluded the following about Instagram vs. Snapchat usage amongst teens:
In fall 2015, Piper Jaffray's semi-annual survey of 6,500 US teens showed that 33% of them considered Instagram their most important social network. By this spring, that number had fallen to 27%.
The story for Snapchat is the complete opposite. In fall 2015, just 19% of teens said it was their most important social network. That ballooned to 28% this spring, edging out Instagram.
With the advent of new features, and the development of a highly-engaged audience, most experts believed Snapchat would overtake Instagram. But that didn't happen. Instagram took a page out of Snapchat's book and launched Instagram Stories in August of 2016. Stories allows users to post content that expires in 24 hours, closely mimicking Snapchat. On the one year anniversary since the launch of Instagram Stories in August 2017, it was revealed that usage had surpassed Snapchat's and caused Snap's stock price to plummet.
An August 2016 Huffington Post survey showed that 43% of respondents would delete Snapchat entirely if Instagram launched something similar to Snapchat's highly-popular filters (the thing that makes you puke a rainbow or age your face).
Image via Tech Insider
Instagram and Snapchat have each continued to release various new feature improvements to their platforms. Recently, both released features that allow users to keep posts beyond the 24-hour expiration and live on as evergreen content, this being through the Snapchat Memories and Instagram Stories Highlights.
Instagram also released various stickers and animated GIFs to its Stories, as well as a new "Type" mode with various fonts and layouts.
But, beyond all of these more flashy features, Instagram has been directly integrated as a Sales Channel for various Ecommcerce providers, where merchants now have the ability tag products in their photos and bring users one click closer to the point of purchase. Business profiles were also introduced that crossover between a Facebook fan page, and users can now see actionable insights about their content performance and audience for free.
The conclusion? Instagram seems to be winning the war after Snapchat stumbled out of the gate with its 2017 IPO. Interest in Instagram has never been higher, and it is only growing.