Facebook V/S Instagram: Who Is The Real Winner As The Best Social Media Tool?

Updated on :June 25, 2024
By :Jemimah Rodriguez

It is undeniable that social media has a profound reach, and can influence today’s consumers to a greater extent. Whether it is to build strong connections with your users or to drive your brand loyalty, social media platforms are used to reach out by breaking all the geographical barriers. 

Social media platforms have been beneficial to businesses of all sizes, and it has helped brands advertise at a low cost compared to traditional advertising methods using hoardings, print media, television, radio, etc. Also, social media has made it simple for people to search for jobs, shop for their desired products, post reviews & complaints, and even learn about any subject. 

Among all the social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram have tremendously grown in popularity. It sometimes becomes difficult to choose the one among Facebook and Instagram for business marketing, as they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. So, who is the real winner as the best social media tool? This article highlights the features and offerings of both these platforms based on which you can choose the one that fits your purpose.

Why Do People Use Social Media Platforms?

Social Media Marketing Purpose

So, as you can see in the above image, social media platforms are used in several ways by the users. Businesses use it for marketing their products & services and communicating with their clients, associates, and stakeholders. Whereas, individuals use it for sharing information, acquiring knowledge, interacting and communicating with friends, colleagues, and connections. Moreover, even NGOs use social media for raising funds. 


Types of Social Media Marketing Platforms

Now, you have a brief idea about the types of social media platforms that are used for different purposes. There are some social media platforms that specialize in sharing textual content, whereas some that prove to be excellent for sharing media content like images, videos, etc.

Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular social media platforms that specialize in their own way when it comes to sharing content and connecting with people. But again, if you ask which one to choose between these two, then do read the sections below including in-depth comparison of Facebook and Instagram based on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Facebook Overview

Facebook was launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow Harvard students - Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. It was initially used for Harvard students to connect, but soon, the students of other universities also started using it. By 2006 it became accessible to anyone above 13 years of age. In 2007 Facebook launched its mobile website, and in 2011 it launched its mobile app providing exceptional convenience to the smartphone users.

Facebook
(facebook.com)

How Does Facebook Work?

You can sign up for a Facebook account from its homepage by providing all the details. After that, Facebook would prompt you to allow it to access your contacts so that you can add your friends easily. You can also skip that step and search for your friends on your own. After registering, you can start sending friend requests to people and publishing your posts that include text, videos, images, links, The updates posted by you can be viewed in the news feed. Below are some key features and applications of Facebook that would better understand how Facebook works.

Facebook GoodFirms Page
(facebook.com/goodfirms)

Facebook Key Features

News Feed - The updates posted by you, your connected friends can be viewed in the news feed. The posts on which your friends have reacted or shared are also displayed in the news feed.

Friends - The users can add friends and if in future they can even unfriend those people they don't want them to be connected with. Facebook also facilitates blocking people for maintaining the security of your profile.

Timeline - The timeline would display all the updates posted or shared by since you joined Facebook until today. It also shows the updates your connected friends have tagged you after asking for your permission.

Reactions - Facebook, when launched, had only like and dislike buttons. Now it has several reaction buttons showing emotions like sad, angry, wow, etc. allowing users to interact with the posts, images, videos, and advertisements posted by their connections.

Comments - Like reactions, Facebook allows users to comment on the updates that can include images, videos, text, and links posted by their connected friends.  

Notifications - Notifications inform users about the comments and reactions they have received on their posts. Earlier, there was a single notification for each event of reaction or comment. But, now, for the ease of users, the notifications are grouped.

Local Check-In - Local check-in allows users to display their check-in to a local restaurant, mall, cinema, or other local places on their timeline and in the news feed of their connections.

Live Video - Live video application helps the users to stream live video and broadcast it. The live video gets displayed on the Facebook page and news feeds of the users and their connections.

Watch Party - Watch Party, is a feature launched by Facebook recently that allows Group Admins to hold a live screening of pre-recorded videos that are already available on Facebook. The group admins choose the participants of this watch party.

Facebook Applications

Messenger - Facebook Messenger allows users to chat with people, make phone calls, organize group chats, and even play games.

Events - You can create events using an event application on Facebook and send out invitations to your friends. If you are attending an event posted on Facebook, you can view if your friends are attending the same event.

Groups - The users can create groups and add members to form a discussion forum. The non-members can view the group members' updates in case of an open group, but only group members can react or comment on those updates. In the case of secret groups, only members can view, react, and comment on the group's updates.

Pages -  the Facebook page is generally created by celebrities, brands, and business organizations for online promotion. The celebrities and businesses post the updates in the form of images, videos, and advertisements that can be viewed by people who have liked that Facebook Page.

Marketplace - Marketplace is a Facebook application that allows users to buy or sell products or services online. Whether it is selling a car or renting out a property, the businesses can post their classifieds on Facebook Marketplace and win profitable deals.

Advertising - Like Google Adwords, Facebook includes the advertising application that allows businesses to get their ad displayed on the right side of the user's news feed. The ad presented before the user depends on various factors like location, search history, interests, behavior, etc.

Pros and Cons of Facebook

Facebook Pros and Cons

Facebook SWOT Analysis

Facebook SWOT Analysis

Instagram Overview

Instagram is an online photo-sharing social networking platform that was launched in 2010. Later in 2012, it was acquired by Facebook. Instagram allows users to upload photos and short videos using mobile apps. The users can add captions, use hashtags, and location-based geotags to make their posts easily searchable and indexed. The users can edit the control on who can view their profile and also comment and react to their posts. Similar to Facebook, Instagram also allows users to have a real-time chat through its Messenger. The best thing is that users can post updates on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., with a single click from Instagram.

Instagram
 

(instagram.com)

How Does Instagram Work?

To start using Instagram, you need to download its app on your mobile device. Though it has the desktop version, it has many limitations. Using a desktop, you can just browse the feed. Instagram is designed exclusively for mobile devices. After downloading the application, you need to register for your Instagram account by providing details like name, email id, phone number, etc. You can also login with your Facebook account if you need to skip this registration process.

Once that is done, you can start discovering people on Instagram and start following them. You can then view the posted content by the people whom you have followed. They can also follow you back and expand their network. You can unfollow the person you don't want to at any time following the same process. Also, you can switch your profile to private mode so that only those you approve can view your updated posts with pictures and videos.

Now your Instagram feed becomes a happening place wherein you can see the updates posted by people, companies, and brands you are following. Let's look at the features and applications of Instagram to understand better about how Instagram works for the business benefit.

GoodFirms Instagram Page
(instagram.com/goodfirms_research)

Instagram Key Features

Photo Filters - This is the key feature that dragged many users to Instagram. Photo filters can turn anyone to professional photography. Using Instagram, one can try 40 different filters to add extra effects and feel to the photographs while posting it online.

Video Posts - Instagram allows you to post videos showing how a product works, or the benefits of a particular service, enabling you to grow the engagement of your audience.

Stories - The thumbnail of the stories posted by the people you follow or your followers appear on the top of your feed. You can view those stories by clicking on those thumbnails. These stories live only for 24 hours, and after that, they disappear.

Live Streaming - Similar to Facebook, Instagram also allows you to display live broadcasts that can feature the details about your product, conduct a training session, or a seminar, and provide any kind of information to your audience. 

AR Filters - Instagram has now recently included AR filters in their stories that can help users to try the products provided by the brands. One of the lipstick brands had added AR filters in their Instagram story, allowing users to try different lipsticks' different shades.

Stickers - Instagram provides an innovative way to interact with your followers and audiences using hashtag stickers, location stickers, and quiz stickers. This helps in increasing the engagement of the audience and making the business popular on Instagram.

Reel - Instagram allows you to create a 15-second clip video with visual and sound effects and share it with your connections. This feature of Instagram is a wonderful substitute for the TikTok application.

Instagram Applications

Text/Video Chat - Instagram includes a direct messaging application that allows you to conduct text and video chat on a real-time basis with your followers and the people you are following. This helps brands to communicate with the audiences, eliminate the chances of communication gap, and enhance engagement.  

Product Shopping - Instagram is considered as the best place to share information about the products these days. When it comes to shopping products, people rely on visualization more, and that is why Instagram has become a preferred platform for shopping products.

Creating Personal Space - Using tags on Instagram, you can create personal space for your brand. Many brands use unique hashtags to conduct quizzes and contests, captioning photos, and videos, giving a different identity and recognition among the audiences.

Boomerang - Instagram includes an in-built application that allows you to turn a group of 4-5 photos into a back-forth video loop resembling a GIF, and that is known as a boomerang. Brands use boomerangs for creating fun-filled content attracting their audiences.

Video Editing - Instagram allows you to edit videos in terms of increasing/decreasing the speed of the movement to create some unique content that can help in attracting the customers and giving an extraordinary element to your brand advertising.

Photo Layout - Merging multiple pictures into one is known as a collage. Instagram calls it a photo layout. You can create unique pictures using the photo layout application of Instagram and improve your social media marketing efforts.

IGTV - If you need to post videos that are having a duration of around an hour, you can create an IGTV channel on Instagram and post your videos there. It helps in increasing the engagement of the audience and make the brand popular.

Pros and Cons of Instagram

Instagram Pros and Cons

Instagram SWOT Analysis

Instagram SWOT Analysis

After going through the details and pros & cons of Facebook & Instagram, let’s have a look at the fundamental aspects that differentiate Facebook from Instagram.

Difference Between Facebook & Instagram

Difference Between Facebook and Instagram

* Facebook
* As on June 2018 displayed on third party sources

To understand the difference between Facebook and Instagram in a better manner, let's examine factors affecting the algorithms of each of these social media platforms.

Facebook Instagram AlgorithmLatest Updates on Facebook and Instagram

For a better understanding of which social media platform would suit your digital marketing strategy, it becomes important to have a glimpse over some of their latest features as mentioned below -

Facebook Instagram Latest Updates

Future Updates on Facebook and Instagram

After looking into the latest changes introduced by Facebook and Instagram, let's look at their future updates, enhancing the experience of both marketers and users.

Facebook Instagram Future Updates

Key Takeaways

Conclusion

Facebook and Instagram are both popular and strong social media platforms in their way. Which one would benefit your business depends on the products and services you are selling, your location, and your target audience. Also, it depends on the type of the marketing activity that you would want to do using these platforms - whether to create awareness, or to churn more traffic, or to expand your reach and user counts.

If your business relies more on showcasing, presentations, and forming visually appealing impressions in front of the audience, then Instagram would be the best option for you. On the contrary, if your business is focused on a mature target audience and needs to provide detailed information in the form of visual and textual content both, Facebook is the best social media tool for you.

Precisely, Facebook and Instagram are both free to use but also include many paid marketing activities that can help you promote your business effectively. If you market your business on these platforms simultaneously, you will reap benefits in terms of exponential business growth and expansion.

If you have used any of the social media tools that have enabled you to enhance your business marketing efforts and online reputation, please leave your valuable reviews here.

Jemimah Rodriguez
Jemimah Rodriguez

Jemimah Rodriguez is a content marketing specialist having 8+ years of experience in content writing, SEO, and social media optimization. At present, she is working with GoodFirms – a reliable platform helping businesses in selecting right Software Companies & Products. For further information, you can get in touch with her on [email protected]

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