This week I decided to learn more about Snapchat, which differs completely from my usual media consumption habits.
The community that uses Snapchat actually starts younger than age 18, which is where the demographic data starts with this app. My 16-year-old daughter, Sabrina, (my gracious Snapchat model below) and her friends are Snapchat fans. I conducted a very informal survey of her and some of her friends. These 16 and 17-year olds prefer Snapchat instead of texting. I am told that texting is a hassle because you have to get the recipients phone number. (I listened and imagined their despair if they had to write letters and find a postage stamp! Is that snarky … my bad.) Unlike regular Snaps, Snapchat messaging can be saved indefinitely.
78% of American internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 used Snapchat in 2018. Among Americans aged between 25 and 29, 54% of them were Snapchat users. The usage rate faces a massive drop among those aged 50 years and above at only 7%. (https://influencermarketinghub.com/snapchat-statistics-revenue/).
Snapchat will have 77.5 million monthly U.S. users in 2019, a 2.8% decline from a year earlier, according to industry analyst EMarketer. The research firm pointed toward fans’ lingering dissatisfaction with a redesign of the app and significantly lowered its projections from those made six months ago. It now predicts that Snap’s user growth will level off in 2020. (https://www.denverpost.com/2019/04/13/snapchat-losing-users/).
Gone in a Snap
Bat the images users post on Snapchat are viewed for an incredibly short time. A user can make this snap that they sent somebody last anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds. If the user selects the Infinity option, then the viewer can see the picture until they tap the screen to end it. Snapchat only allows the recipient to replay a snap 1 time.
The fact that Snaps disappear is a key attraction for users. Once you view a Snap, it evaporates. Poof! After a Snap Story on Snapchat runs for 24 hours, it’s gone. Snapchat says that the images are also deleted from its servers. That’s appealing for young people, who are the most likely to find themselves in trouble on social media; Snapchat wipes away the evidence.
There is an array of Snapchat filters that can be applied to a photo so that the person or people in the picture can have a long tongue like a dog, or animal ears, or any of a bunch of other interesting accoutrements. (Sabrina, below, is decked out as some type of creature, although I’m not sure what exactly). Users are willing to spend a lot of time trying all different filters and special effects on the photos that they Snap.
Brands use Snapchat for advertising purposes. Of course, ads are super quick, more like 2 second visual imprints on the viewer. The ads are known as Snap Ads. Snapchat provides templates for creating ads. There are a dozen templates available to create something that works for your organization, with a different range of animations and customization options. Each template works well for mobile, vertical video, which is the Snapchat default, because most users access the app by phone.
These ads are supposedly cost-effective, so if your company or organization is geared towards the right demographics for Snapchat, it is likely worth checking out.
Time to go check out the flower crown filter … Maybe Snapchat does have something to appeal to me after all!