Understanding the differences between Facebook and Instagram can help users (even those who do business and companies) choose which one to use, what to publish in one or the other and how to interact with other people. With this article we try, therefore, to examine the two most popular social media sites and explaining how they differ from one another, especially in their main purposes.
What is Facebook?
Facebook has beaten all kinds of social media competition and since its inception, it has gone from being a tool to keep in touch with friends to a total platform, where to look for news, comment and share any type of content. Every person can keep a diary of events on Facebook and decide with whom to share them, he can publish photos, videos, words and links from external sites and give “likes” to posts shared by friends or even by the pages followed. Facebook is a platform for networking and connecting with friends, its main purpose is to stay connected with known people with which it is also possible to chat via the Messenger.
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What is Instagram?
Instagram was born first of all as a smartphone app for sharing photos and images. Currently, Instagram also allows you to share videos and publish stories, which have become a strong part of the social network. The stories, which are also present on Facebook but are much less used, allow you to share special moments and are different from normal posts because they disappear after 24 hours. Instagram has become a fundamental tool for brands, companies, and VIPs, because its “engagement”, that is the possibility of reaching interested users, is higher than Facebook.
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Differences between Facebook and Instagram
Facebook is a generalist site that allows users to create online profiles, share photos and videos, send messages and stay in touch with friends, family or colleagues on a common platform. Instagram works like Facebook but it’s mainly a photo-sharing application.
If you want to publish photos you can decide to publish them on Facebook or Instagram, with the difference, however, that Instagram is used to share a few good photos for the purpose of attracting as many views as possible at that time, while on Facebook it is also more appropriate to publish entire holiday albums to preserve over time and not necessarily shared to attract like. Furthermore, Instagram requires high-quality photos, that they are special and improved with photo editing tools. If you don’t have photos to publish and if you don’t spend some time making them beautiful, it’s almost useless to use Instagram (except to see the photos of others). Instagram is not even suitable for publishing memes or images made of text, which on Facebook, on the other hand, are always very successful in sharing. In other words, if you find a funny image on Google, it can be shared with satisfaction on Facebook, but not on Instagram, where it is required to publish your own photos. Instagram, therefore, requires being unique and creative, unlike Facebook where few contents are unique and original.
Today’s Facebook has become a video platform with the clear intention of competing with Youtube. There is a special section dedicated to videos where you can see the ones with the most likes, the funniest ones or the most interesting ones, seeing them one after the other. You can then use Facebook to share original videos with no length restrictions, as long as they respect copyright. On Instagram, on the other hand, videos can be published only in short form, in stories with a limit of 15 seconds or in the profile with a limit of 1 minute.
Both platforms, then, allow you to go into live video taken with in-app cameras from the smartphone. The difference between live Facebook and Instagram videos is that on Facebook the video can remain saved in the profile, thus becoming permanent and letting it be commented also in the following days, on Instagram, instead, the live videos disappear after 24 hours. While live videos on Facebook seem preferable, on Instagram on the other hand, when you go live, you send a notification to all followers (while on Facebook only sends it to some friends) and the video is also shown in the stories section, giving more chance of being seen.
As for sharing links, blog posts or other information content from newspapers or other sources, Facebook works well and gives users full freedom. On Instagram, however, it is always necessary to share an image or photo, under which it is possible to write a free text. Instagram, however, is not meant to share links, which are completely prevented. It is therefore not possible to share posts from blogs or external web pages on Instagram and you cannot publish external links. The only way to share links is to use your own biography, which is the only space on Instagram where external links are clickable. Recently the possibility of creating clickable external links in stories has also been added, but this is a function available only for those who have more than 10000 followers and a verified account.
Facebook, which is, therefore, the best social media to publish the site and blog links, also allows its users to create and plan events and to have a more in-depth biography that includes personal, work, etc. information. Facebook is also useful for creating ads of things for sale and to participate in small groups that do not exist on Instagram.
An important difference between Facebook and Instagram is also in reshuffling: on Facebook, it is normal to share posts and images of others, on Instagram instead this can not (or rather could not) do. The Instagram account is personal and concerns its own activities and not those of others. it’s about you and your business, not the content of everyone else. So don’t fill your feed with other people’s posts.
Groups and Communities on Facebook and Instagram
Although the common goal is content sharing, the two platforms have different approaches to networking. Facebook is made to stay in touch with people who know each other and this also applies to groups. For example, you can join a group with your fellow students, with work colleagues. Instagram, on the other hand, allows you to follow topics and people who publish images about things that interest us like pets, photography, fashion, movies, women, technology, travel, cooking, etc.
A fundamental difference between Facebook and Instagram is in the way it is possible to focus only on the topics that interest us. On Facebook there are groups, you can follow interesting pages and famous people, but the news that appears in the stream concern a bit of everything. For example, just adding alike to a movie or a brand, to see all posts about that movie or that brand in the mainstream, which could get pretty boring. In addition, people who write about things that don’t interest us can be added as friends, thus causing even more disturbance in the flow of news. On Instagram, instead, you can follow a certain topic and only see the images on that one, with a total filter level. As a result of this, we can add another difference to the way we use Instagram to post photos where generalist accounts (those who always share different photos like selfies, food, travel or other) don’t like them.
Difference between Facebook Friends and Instagram followers
On Facebook, you can get in touch with other people asking for their friendship that must be approved. On Instagram, instead, there is no need to ask for the approval of a friendship to see what a person publishes, just follow it and become his follower. On Instagram, it is, however, possible to set up a private account and approve one by one the followers who want to see what we publish, a bit like with the approval of friendship.
As a follower, you can see all the photos and images published (unless the account you followed has not published with restrictions) that you can also comment, like or save in your account. Both on Facebook and on Instagram you can prevent posts and photos from being visible to everyone, making your accounts private and only visible to approved friends or followers. On Facebook, you can create groups of friends, while on Instagram you can send a photo only to a group of friends via the direct message function or Direct.
The way the tags appear it is similar on Instagram and on Facebook, so if you tag someone in a post or photo, it also appears in your profile (unless you have blocked the function in the settings). Only if an Instagram account is placed as private, if someone tags or mentions this person without being an approved follower, he will not even receive a notification.
Instagram is really pushing users to post photos, comment, and tag so that everyone sees, while on Facebook privacy plays a fundamental key for users. This difference makes Instagram a more advertising-oriented platform, while Facebook wants normal users to participate without necessarily putting in the streets the things they do.
Mobility for Facebook and Instagram
Unlike Facebook, Instagram is almost entirely based on smartphone apps and even if it is possible to open Instagram on the PC it is not possible instead to publish the photos from the official site (unless you use tricks to upload photos to Instagram from PC).
To whom the posts on Facebook and Instagram are addressed
When publishing a photo on Instagram, the interested public is mostly made up of young people, while Facebook is more used by more mature users, with higher age. Young people want posts focused on a topic that can be women, men, travel, sports, cooking, dogs or cats and they get bored reading news that speaks a bit of everything. Moreover, on Instagram there is little space for politics and news because it is not a social media made to comment and discuss these things.
Instagram is all based on hashtags, ie keywords with the symbol #. As explained in the past, even hashtags can be used on Facebook, but they still remain rather ridiculous and insignificant. The hashtags on Instagram, on the other hand, are extremely advantageous because they allow the public to find our images based on the keywords and discover us.
Conclusion: Which is better between Facebook and Instagram?
This question obviously cannot have a single answer: those who want to spread their own photos will prefer Instagram, while those who want to share news and thoughts are better off doing it on Facebook. Instagram is all about photos and videos, it is an application for smartphones that is based on the current moment, without creating memories. Instagram is clean and unobstructed, you don’t risk scams, you only look at pictures of what you’re interested in. Facebook is multi-faceted, it allows you to do anything, publish posts and articles from newspapers, create and participate in groups, share photos and videos, watch long videos of all kinds, create events, chat with friends, make wishes of birthday and much more. Facebook is for everyone to talk about anything, Instagram, instead, only for those who want to create original content and therefore promote a particular and specific passion, a product, a brand, a place or photos of himself.
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