21st April 2017

There’s Life in SnapChat Yet

In recent months you may have noticed an uprising of publications and industry pundits declaring the “demise” of Snapchat at the hands of Instagram stories.

A number of these reports cite August 2016 as the beginning of the end when we saw a drop in Snapchat downloads, coinciding with the launch date of stories on Instagram.

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What the publications fail to address however, is the return to popularity in October of the same year.

Instagram has attempted to fuel this fire by publishing its usage stats of 200 million people using its stories feature daily. This is notably more than Snapchat who boast 158 million daily users. But as the old saying goes, its quality not quantity that counts. Snapchat users spend an average of 30 minutes on the app whilst the average Instagram users would only dedicate 15 minutes to stories.

Even though Snapchat has taken a beating in the press, it is still the most popular app amongst teenagers and its users utilise the platform to regularly keep in contact with a small group of close friends.

Meanwhile the blatant copying of the “stories” feature across Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram has becoming a joke online. Social media users are creating meme’s mocking the lazy application by photoshopping the feature onto obscure everything objects from calculators to avocados.

So no, Snapchat isn’t dead, but when it comes to marketing, it may be in trouble. 

Although Snapchat does still have a niche for transient communication, it is losing major ground with regard to advertising. Influencers are transitioning to Instagram stories in favour of its wider public exposure and the ability to amass a large following.

So called “Vanity Metrics” are exactly what Influencers and brands are looking for (whether they should be benchmarking such metrics or not) and Snapchats’ closed group ideology simply doesn’t lend itself to this reality.

Add to the equation the fact that Instagram has inherited its familiar self-serve advertising model from parent Facebook with its wealth of granular targeting and reporting, you can observe businesses moving away from Snapchat as an advertiser too.

So Snapchat is not dead, but it does have to react and adapt if it wants to remain a feasible contender in the competition for marketing budgets. Having a dedicated user base is no good if you can’t successfully monetise them.

By Stefan Evans, Content Strategist