Difference Between Instagram and Twitter (With Table)

Instagram is infamous as a visual social media platform offering a plethora of editing and posting features. Twitter is renowned for its text-based ingenuity. It was launched as a one-of-a-kind microblogging site and later diversified to include some visual features. This remains the seminal difference between the two sites.

Instagram vs Twitter

The difference between Instagram and Twitter is that while Instagram is a social media site designed for visual posts (like pictures and videos), Twitter emerged as a text-based posting site. Twitter can also be used to post pictures and videos, but its primary use remains the posting of short snippets of news or witty statements within a limit of 280 characters.

Comparison Table Between Instagram and Twitter

Parameters of ComparisonInstagramTwitter
Content TypeInstagram is a visual platform, primarily designed for photos, videos, etc. Text can be posted on the site, however, only when accompanied by a visual content file.Twitter is primarily used for micro-blogging news snippets, thoughts, and witty one-liners. It is a text-oriented platform that also supports other multimedia formats of input.
Character LimitInstagram does not have a known character limit as such. However, if the caption of a post is more than 240 characters, it hides the rest of the text.Twitter imposes a strict character limit upon its users. The new limit stands at 280 characters, which is an increment over its previous 140 characters rule.
StoriesInstagram has a widely used ‘stories’ feature.Does not have a ‘stories’ feature.
Direct MessagingInstagram supports a maximum of 15 members on a group chat.The maximum number of participants on a group chat chain can be 50.
Interacting with PostsLiking and commenting are the modalities of interacting with posts on the site.Re-tweeting, quoting, liking, and commenting are ways of interacting with posts.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a popular social media platform popularized for its photo-sharing features. The app was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger in 2010. With over 700 million users, the platform is widely used by the members of the global community to share pictures, videos, and other multimedia files.

Instagram has also cultivated an unparalleled reputation for advertising and sales maximization. It is the preferred social media platform used by brands to boost their product sales. Recently, the app has added more novel features to its wide array of offerings.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform used as a micro-blogging site, famous for its staunch character limit rules. The platform was developed by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and launched in 2006.

This American social media outlet is infamous for its textual sharing features and is used widely by newscasters, celebrities, and politicians as well as the common people. Twitter is often used to post news headlines, witty comments, one-liners, and story threads.

Recently, Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280. Although the platform also supports other multimedia file uploads like pictures and videos, its primary use remains textually-oriented.

Main Differences Between Instagram and Twitter

  1. The main difference between these two widely used social media platforms is the kind of content suitability each site is popularly used for. While Instagram is used to post photos, videos, and audio files, Twitter is primarily used to post written statements which may be news headlines, witty one-liners, or is simply used for sharing one’s thoughts. Although Twitter allows for a variety of post styles, it has become famous for written news snippets. Instagram cannot be used to post written material unless such materials are accompanied by visual media files.
  2. The second seminal difference between these two sites is in terms of the character limits imposed by each. Twitter currently has a character limit of 280 characters- which is an increment over its 140 characters rule. Instagram does not have a known character limit on posts. However, after 240 characters, it does hide the rest of the post. The rest of the caption can be accessed by a user by clicking the ‘read more’ option.
  3. Instagram allows users to post stories comprising of various multimedia files. This feature is absent on Twitter. Twitter has just started testing a similar feature called ‘Fleets’ globally. However, it has not been officially launched.
  4. Both these platforms are quite similar on the direct messaging front, however, when compared in terms of the group sizes each supports, Instagram allows for 15 participants on each group chat, while Twitter allows 50 participants.
  5. The method of replying to posts is quite different on both these platforms. While replying to a post on Instagram would entail the user to comment on the post, on Twitter the modalities of sending a reply are quite different. Quoting, re-tweeting, liking, and replying are the ways in which users can interact with posts on Twitter.


Both these social media platforms are renowned globally for their individual strengths. Each is preferred by users who like the features of one app more than the other.

Twitter and Instagram are quite pronouncedly different from each other. While Twitter was created with the vision of primarily posting content in the text format with hashtags, Instagram was created as a primarily visual medium, dedicated to the posting of pictured, videos, etc.

Twitter has a stringent 280 character limit that is religiously imposed on the users of the platform. While Instagram does not have a known character limit, it does temporarily hide posts above 240 characters.

The stories feature on Instagram is one of the most beloved offerings of the app. Stories on Instagram disappear after 24 hours of posting. Twitter does not currently have an equivalent feature, although it is testing a similar feature called ‘Fleets’- soon to be rolled out globally.

The modalities of interacting with posts are also quite different for both these apps. Retweeting, liking, quoting are ways of interacting with a post on Twitter. Liking and commenting are the only available ways of interacting with a post on Instagram.

The direct message feature is quite similar on both these platforms but Instagram allows only 15 users on a group chat while Twitter allows for a maximum of 50 participants in each group chat.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21670811.2020.1805779
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7917530/
2D vs 3D