People made a lot of comparisons between the original Star Wars trilogy and The Force Awakens, and one of those comparisons was between Emperor Palpatine and Supreme Leader Snoke, but does the comparison really fit? One man who knows more about Snoke than the rest of us (we assume) is Andy Serkis, who provides the motion capture for the digital creation as well as the voice of the character. The actor says that there is a significant difference between the two, specifically, Palpatine isn't nearly as dark as Snoke. According to Serkis...
Snoke is bloody dark; way darker than Palpatine. He's riddled with this osteoporosis so his body's twisted, like a corkscrew. He's incredibly damaged, so there's a bizarre vulnerability about him. Beneath that vulnerability, though, is this intense hatred.
The initial comparison between the two certainly made sense. While we don't know a great deal about who Supreme Leader Snoke really is, what we saw of him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a physically withered man, dressed in black, sitting on a throne, and pulling the strings of a military organization looking to control the galaxy. Since that's pretty much what we saw from the Emperor when we first met him in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, it's far from surprising people began to draw parallels.
There are other differences between the two characters. It's unlikely many people would describe Palpatine as "vulnerable" so whatever caused Snoke to become so damaged, which one assumes is also the source of this intense hatred, will also separate him from the original trilogy. It sounds like the source of all this is likely what set Snoke on the path that led to everything we see in the First Order.
Andy Serkis also does clarify that Snoke is not a Sith, which is yet another significant difference between the two evil rulers. He does say that Snoke is on the "darker end" of the Force, though we could have guessed that, as he's the one who trained Kylo Ren. Though if Snoke isn't a Sith specifically, but he is a follower of the Dark Side, then what exactly does that make him? Since the Emperor's minions were the only Dark Side force users we've seen in the films, we don't even know what other Dark Side Force users are about.
Andy Serkis reveals that at least some of Snoke's hidden agenda will be revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so we'll have some answers come December 15.