Snapchat and its parent company Snap have faced struggles throughout 2017, as Snap’s stock prices have struggled and Snapchat faces relentless competition from Facebook and Instagram. Yet despite these struggles, Snapchat continues to retain the loyalty of its largely teenage user base.
Business Insider reports that the marketing research firm eMarketer found that teen preference for Snapchat over other social media climbed in 2017. Snapchat was the favorite social media app for 47 percent of teenagers in the fall of 2017 compared to 35 percent a year ago and just 11 percent in the spring of 2015. eMarketer also found that three quarters of Snapchat’s users were between the ages of 12 and 34.
While Snapchat has risen, Facebook and particularly Twitter’s popularity have declined. Between 2015 and 2017, Facebook’s popularity fell from 12 to 9 percent while Twitter crashed from 21 to 7 percent. This is more bad news for Twitter, which already saw its stock value fall further in July due to flat user growth, according to TechCrunch.
Using Teenage Success
Snapchat’s success with teenagers is largely because it has managed to stay “cool” and relatively ad-free. Adults and companies now are all over Twitter and Facebook, which gives teenagers the impression that it is for older people. Furthermore, sharing information, as any social media marketing agency would encourage, through video and images, continues to be more appealing than blocs of text.
The question which Snap has to face is whether it can harness this teenage popularity to compete with an Instagram which has not hesitated to copy some of Snapchat’s biggest features. While Snapchat is more popular with teens, Instagram Stories is more popular with the general public. CNBC reported in June that Instagram Stories had 250 million active daily users compared to 166 million for Snapchat.
Teenagers and millennials are a major target demographic for advertisers, who in theory should then love to work with Snap. But that has not worked so far, and teenagers will move away should Snapchat become too aggressive with their ad placement.
Snapchat has clearly offered a great product to retain teenage popularity even while Snap struggles elsewhere. The company clearly has a great deal of work to do, in order to successfully compete with Instagram and Facebook.