Instagram vs Facebook — which is better for your business?

Social Media Specialist
Updated 27 February, 2024
Lauren Taylor
Social Media Specialist
Instagram and Facebook are like Pepsi and Coke in the marketing universe. Both are powerful. Both have unique tools. But which is better for your brand? There are differences you should consider before making your choice. Let's look at them.
Reading time — 11 minutes

Which is better — Facebook or Instagram?

Okay, as a business owner or brand manager, you're at a crossroad now. Instagram vs Facebook — how are they different and which platform is better? Let's investigate! 

Which platform is more popular worldwide?

At the moment Instagram is less popular than Facebook. According to Statista, Instagram has 1.5 billion users every month. Meanwhile, Facebook can boast its 3 billion audience. The difference is great, right?

However, Instagram engagement rate beats the Facebook's. The numbers are 4.21% vs 0.7%. And almost 70% of Instagram fans actively support brands. Bare numbers don't lie. But what's the reason behind all this? The answer is in the platforms' differences.

Instagram vs Facebook advantages and disadvantages

You should know Instagram and Facebook differences to know which of the platforms are better for you. You should also be aware of the disadvantages so that not to be disappointed after making the choice. 

1. It's all about the devices

Here, Instagram has an advantage over Facebook. Though, the latter has a tendency to catch its rival app and maybe even overcome.

It's because Instagram does a good job as a mobile app. Its invasion began back in the day when the platform was a newborn baby in the digital realm. 

Meanwhile, Facebook was like a clumsy mammoth — its mobile adaptation wasn't so quick. Long before its Messenger existed, the only version the platform offered was desktop. Nowadays, the platform has a rather good mobile version.

At the age when an iPhone is as important as a toothbrush, no wonder Instagram conquered the mobile user segment of the audience easily. Young & restless Instagrammers want to share their life experience on the go 24/7.

2. Instagram vs Facebook demographic statistics

Choosing between the platforms, remember about your target audiences. The demographic statistics show no gender difference on Instagram and Facebook, the tendencies are the same. 

But there is a demographic difference between Instagram and Facebook audience, primarily the age. 

  • 60% of Instagram audience in 2022 is between 18–34 years old. Half of them is aged 18–24, and the other half is 25–34.
  • Facebook audience is slightly older in 2022. 22% of the users are aged 18–24, and 21% are 25–34. This platform also has a significant part of people aged 35–44, it takes 18% of the audience.

In general, if your audience is younger than 34, then Instagram is more preferable for your business. If you target older people, choose Facebook.

3. Popular topics on Instagram and Facebook

Millennials, especially females, are crazy about Instagram. This is due to the most popular topics on the platform. Where else would they go to:

  • Find out about the latest fashion trends.
  • Find a ketogenic recipe for Christmas cookies.
  • Share boastful pics from the last vacation in St. Lucia.
  • Leave a like under a photo of a cute domestic fox.

The list can go on for miles. As of now, Instagram is better than Facebook as a place to chat and share glamorized snaps. Or upload stories and just tell the world how funny and cool you are.

4. Instagram vs Facebook advertising

Instagram has been focused on commerce from its first day. And it shows better results in comparison to advertising on Facebook's. People on this platform are noticed to buy more. Is it because of the better marketing tools or because of the people consciously choosing purchases on IG? 

The short answer is that Instagram ads feel organic. But you can't say the same about Facebook, and here is the main difference. IG lacks the commercial aggression a typical marketplace has, where every post begs you to buy stuff. 

Instagram advertising is more about storytelling. It strives to deliver emotions or evoke genuine interest. And only then it offers you to make a purchase. You can't say the same about Facebook.

 5. Difference between Instagram and Facebook for a business

Catalogs can be set both on Instagram and Facebook. Your customers can access the product catalog, see reviews/comments, pick something they like and pay right here. Such a perfectly organized assortment makes it easier to buy. In this regard, it makes no difference for the users which platform to choose.

See other ways to sell without working on the Shopping settings.

But you can feel the difference between Facebook and Instagram when making catalogs. You need to create one on Facebook anyway. You may not want to do additional actions after it to set it on IG. 

If you choose Instagram as a place to sell, set up Instagram Shopping. Then, you can turn your profile into a real store, boutique or workshop. Promote it through ads and hashtags. Receive instant feedback. Research demographics. Organize a client support service and more.

6. Tools for expanding your audience

Hashtags are a good tool to reach more people, it's free and effective. And it works great on Instagram. You already know what they are. But do you realize they can be a magic wand for brand promotion?

By adding and liking posts with them, you can draw users' attention. They can bring you your very first followers. And this will cause the first likes, shares, comments and even sales.

Sadly, the hashtag system has been used for bad lately. The Instagram Explore tab has seen a major decline in quality. There are too many clickbaits and just weird stuff. So, the platform put new strict rules to deal with that. That's why it may be difficult to get to the Instagram Explore page now.

Still, users can find you on the hashtags pages. And this is enough to promote your account. 

7. The land of smiles vs the rant realm

What images come to your mind when you think of Facebook? Probably political rants. News on hospital peaking for coronavirus outbreak. Or maybe election-related flimflam.

Instagram is a more happy place. People come here to get a dose of positivity and a good mood. It feels safe here. This is why IG profiles starring animals rack up thousands and millions of fans. 

This leads us to another Instagram and Facebook difference. People here are more positive. For you, as a brand, it means people are more willing to communicate productively and buy, they are more polite and pleasant to talk with, you are more likely to get positive feedback here. 

Just look at the domestic puma Messie, Colonel Meow or Snoopy and other popular pets. These guys bring an extra dose of dopamine to their followers every day. Which is always good.

8. Instagram vs Facebook flexibility

Most apps and online platforms are strict and conservative. They rarely allow any innovations, so, you won't see the appearance of experience-changing features or design changes. When comparing Instagram and Facebook, this is more about the second one.

Instagram doesn't like third-party apps too. But for good! It cares about the privacy of your data.

Besides, IG doesn't ban stickers and effects from other apps. Besides, you will be able to create an IG story directly from other applications: Snapchat, Spotify, WhatsApp, etc.

What's more, Instagram is all for new bells and whistles. You can notice changes in its function or design every month. The platform often experiments with new features to make users' experience better. 

Since Instagram maintains developer engagement, it doesn't feel like a totalitarian place. In turn, it boosts users' loyalty. And you know: more users means bigger business opportunities.

What are the main differences between Instagram and Facebook 

Now let's make it short. Here are statistics about Instagram and Facebook that make a difference. These precise numbers and facts will help you to choose. 

Facebook statistics

Here is what's special about Facebook:

  • Audience. Friends, family, colleagues. Facebook is used for communication with people who you know well. Advertising posts get a lower rank than on Instagram.
  • Brand engagement 0.7%. FB purposely demotes sponsored content, even if its quality is fine. Only 40% of FB users watch ads.
  • 3 billion active users per month.
  • Brands' choice. 65 million small businesses are in the FB ecosystem.
  • Content type. Mostly news and text posts. Posts on the platform are strictly checked by the FB team. Most of the content is not unique or original. It's borrowed from other websites. 

To sum it up, Facebook is a conservative place. It's ok to sell, but you better choose Instagram if you want to reach new users using advertising. People here don't want to see commercials and PR campaigns.

People use Facebook as a place to keep in touch with their friends, rather than a place to buy a perfume or a vintage denim, even if they are extremely good.

Instagram statistics

Now let's see how Instagram is different from Facebook and what its main features are. 

  • Audience. People on Instagram are interested in modern trends and fancy visuals. The platform is great for posting on popular nowadays topics, exploring and discussing them. Whether they are clothing, pop culture, hi-tech, rumors, etc. 
  • Users' engagement is 4.21%. 80% of users follow Instagram accounts of the brands they like. These mean the users are highly interested in the content they see. 
  • Instagram has various advertising tools, including native ads, which you may miss on Facebook. And this difference may be a reason to say IG is better. There are free tools too, for example posting in Stories and grid. 
  • 1.5 billion active users every month. 500 million Stories posted every day.
  • Brands' choice. 11% of all American shoppers buy things on Instagram, and 130 million people tap sponsored posts every month. 
  • Content type. The content on Instagram is mostly visual. The platform expects users to post original stuff of decent quality. Text posts have a small percentage of the shred on the platform content.

To sum it up, IG is more business-friendly. Users use another communication model here. It involves posting Stories and first-hand experience shared through photos and short videos.

This is very close to how advertising is created, that's why it seems native on the platform. Thus, the ads on Instagram and Facebook are different, and the first one is generally better. 

Whether you should choose Instagram or Facebook for your business

The difference between Instagram and Facebook is obvious. First of all, their audiences are not the same. Secondly, people share unlike content. Though, their advertising tools do have some similarities. 

You should consider all these dissimilarities when the choice is Instagram vs Facebook. Take what's more relevant for your business. Sometimes it makes sense to include both platforms when you are building your social media marketing strategy

Besides, if your audience is wide, and you have possibilities, then why not to promote your business on both Instagram and Facebook? Connect your FB and IG pages to get all the benefits. IG marketing is great for building up popularity and making sales. And FB marketing will help you spread the word even further. So, it's safer to stick to both social media. 

Still, Instagram is definitely more preferable. It will be the best platform for promotion in most cases. But it doesn't mean you must ditch Facebook. If your audience is mostly adults, and there are not many pictures presumed in your posts, Facebook is a good option.

Here are the reasons Instagram marketing has more potential for your business promotion, than Facebook.

1. Free and effective marketing tools

Hashtags are a good tool to reach new users and get new customers. You can add up to 30 ones in a post caption. Then, your page will get more clicks and views.

2. Native ads in Instagram posts

Instagram is great for posting regular, simple but beautiful content. Creating it doesn't take much time. Just make sure that it is original, eye-catching and highlights the advantages of your product. 

3. Contests are popular

Nothing motivates people more than free goodies. And also a personal connection with their favorite blogger or business. This is particularly true on Instagram.

Do you breed cats? Ask your followers to come up with a name for one of the kittens. Or maybe you represent a brand like the Makita? Ask the users about carpentry life hacks and award the author of the best one with a power drill.

4. Niche

As practice shows, Instagram users follow those brands and influencers who show solid expertise, genuine passion, or entertain.

You don't have to be a comedy genius, though. But knowing a lot about your niche and constantly learning, you will definitely get loyal followers. Show that you are a specialist in what you do. Be a real deal, in other words.

The only drawback of Instagram and a solution for it

One thing that may prevent you from many sales on Instagram is the limit for links in bio. You can add only one there. You may want to add a Facebook link to your Instagram bio. But you will definitely benefit if you add more links.

Fortunately, the solution has been found. Use link in bio tools to create a landing page for your Instagram account. You can add as many links on it, as you want. Add this page to your bio, and don't forget to direct your followers to it.

Use Taplink to create a landing page for your Instagram bio. This service offers various templates created by marketers and designers. So, you can be sure they are good to be used in sales. What's even cooler, you can try it for free after you sign up. Here are template examples:

The final word: Instagram vs Facebook

Target your Instagram audience to have a good start. But don't forget that some of your potential clients may prefer Facebook to anything else. After all, old habits die hard.

Study your audience and choose one of the platforms. Don't forget that your marketing strategy may differ according to whether you choose Instagram or Facebook.