A very interesting event. Click a picture. Apply filters. Time to Share.
Wait, but on which social network – Facebook? Snapchat? Instagram?
Have you ever been in such a conundrum?
We get it. It’s tough. Social networks don’t come with a manual you can refer to understand what works best for them. This uncertainty of information, over the years, has grown exponentially as these platforms continue to evolve into much more versatile and extensive mediums for connecting with the world. Subsequently, the content these networks allow has leaped through several iterations leading us to formats like live streams, stories, and others. But, at the end of a day, when you want to share a particular moment of your life, it can be exceedingly weary to decide where you should actually post it.
Well, in this article, we (try to) break down the most popular social networks and outline various factors that will help you differentiate among them.
Images are certainly the most malleable form of content you can share online. They’re easy to capture, and, customize. Their purpose can be anything from showcasing your new home to broadcasting a poignant message. While every social network out there supports image sharing, we think there are three mainstream ones who prevail at the top – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The biggest and the densest digital network of people, Facebook has been around for over a decade. It still leads the rivalry by a large percentage. Yet, what you should share on it is still unsettled. Facebook can be considered the jack of all trades, it does everything, and the majority of users believe you can post anything on it. But, in my opinion, Facebook is meant to be a vivacious hub. Hence, for instance, you can publish your graduation picture along with an emotional message tagging your companions, publicly establish that you’re in a relationship, and other similar instances.
While Facebook is meant to be a joyful place, Twitter has always been a news facilitator. Sure, you can still post things which are meant for Facebook here, but that would defeat its purpose. Twitter is a destination where everything you share is for everyone, you don’t have friends, you’ve followers, and your posts are public (unless you force all your tweets to be private). Therefore, on Twitter, you post a thread of pictures depicting a protest, an image questioning the existence of something, live tweet an event, the list goes on.
Now coming to Instagram, the most misused and misunderstood image-sharing platform currently. This Facebook-owned social network exists for photography enthusiasts and professionals. For starters, if you have a private profile on Instagram, you’re doing it wrong. Instagram represents photos in their most graceful form. If you want to post any regular image, there’s Facebook, but if you are looking to take it one step ahead, head over to Instagram. Post your graduation pictures on Facebook, but on Instagram, you should share something, for instance, your graduation hat with the college in the background.
Lastly, if your photo is an embarrassing moment or a casual shot you don’t think is relevant enough to save, you should turn to ephemeral stories available on apps like Instagram and Snapchat. We’ll talk about these in detail later on in this article.
Videos have been around for awhile as well. However, they’re now being considered as the most influencing mode of communication. There are obviously, various mediums through which you can share a video. However, there are four that matter the most as far as online platforms are considered – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Thanks to its broad user base, Facebook currently leads when it comes to posting videos of any sorts. While these are yet to be monetized, any brand or individual cannot afford to miss out on this social network regardless of the type of content. However, if you are not in the creative business or looking to promote something, Facebook should be discerned based on the audience you entertain.
Twitter is relatively more confined and hence, more straightforward to distinguish. Videos on Twitter most importantly, need to encompass a message or relate to a particular trend, event. You shouldn’t share personal clips on this one due to its harsh nature.
Videos on Instagram should be exactly like what I described in the Photos section above. They should be considerably different. However, Instagram isn’t suitable for videos. The social network only recently added support for it, and most of its users have never gone past to sharing pictures. Instagram has been a photo-sharing platform, and in my opinion, it still is primarily. If you are sharing them, though, they can be, for instance, montages, behind-the-scenes footage, and other similar formats.
YouTube is a content-oriented platform, and here, videos should be a lot more unique. Hence, if you think that the clip you are about to share will be revisited from time to time and it hasn’t been done before, YouTube is the place to be. However, if it doesn’t check all those marks, you’ll be completely lost because soaring on YouTube’s algorithms is exceedingly difficult. Additionally, you won’t have any followers initially, so you’ll have to rely on organic traffic and direct forwards.
Live streaming has been gaining popularity ever since social platforms made it more accessible even for normal users. There are three networks you should choose from – Facebook, Periscope (Twitter), and YouTube.
Facebook v/s Periscope v/s YouTube
YouTube is the most straightforward; it’s much more reliable and comprehensive. Hence my advice would be to utilize it for occasions such as streaming an event. Periscope and Facebook, by most users, are used simultaneously because there are not any substantial differences. However, as mentioned before, personal clips should be kept away from Periscope. Therefore, if you are streaming, for example, a wedding, you should head over to Facebook.
Instagram does support live streams. However, I don’t think there’s an audience for that unless you already have thousands and millions of followers already.
Okay, the last type of post you can publish and in fact, the most trending one in especially with the young generation.
If you aren’t aware of the whole “stories” situation, they’re essentially a collection, or you can say a personal timeline of self-disappearing photos and videos. Why have they attained so much popularity in the past year? Mainly because of their natural and spontaneous nature.
So which platform should you prefer for presenting your stories? You have four options – Snapchat, Instagram, and apparently, WhatsApp too.
Snapchat was the first app ever to add these ephemeral stories, and from there, the majority of other companies followed. In my opinion, Snapchat should be utilized to provide your viewers a glimpse into your daily life; this can be anything from making dog faces to sharing pictures of a concert you’re attending. The ethos of Snapchat lies in its candid users who would do just about anything there and believe it or not, that seems to be working up until now.
The majority of users I follow, use Instagram and Snapchat for the exact same purpose and that’s not a bad thing. But there is a differentiating factor – Instagram Stories should be used to demonstrate the effort went behind a particular shot you normally posted on Instagram. Furthermore, there’s a wide range of content you shouldn’t post on Instagram Stories. Most importantly, random pictures of your life that are significantly more suitable for Snapchat, not Instagram.
Facebook recently updated WhatsApp with Stories too, and for the most part, I haven’t been able to figure out why. People either are spamming it with good morning wishes or are completely clueless about its existence. The only reason you should use WhatsApp Stories is if you are not present on other social medias and want to share a quick post with all your contacts.
That’s about it. Those were some of the tips you should keep in mind while using multiple social networks. You can always head over to the comments section if you’ve any more doubts or need some clarifications.