While Snapchat has come under increasing pressure from Facebook, and increasing scrutiny from market analysts and investors, there is one key audience segment within which the app is still winning – teen users.
According to new research released by investment firm Piper Jaffray, Snapchat’s now more popular among U.S. teens than ever, rising beyond its previous leading benchmark in their past surveys.
As per the report:
“Snapchat is the preferred social media platform for 47% of teens using the platform – up 12% year-over-year.”
As you can see, Instagram ranked second among U.S. teen users, while Facebook comes in third – which is not overly surprising, given that various reports have long indicated Facebook’s not the leading platform amongst younger audiences.
Piper Jaffray’s report incorporates the opinions of more than 6,100 U.S. teens across 44 US states, with an average age of 16.
For reference, in the company’s previous studies (run bi-annually), Snapchat has lead the way among teens since the first half of 2016, when it was the platform of choice for 24% of respondents. It’s now at almost double that rate.
It’s good news for Snapchat. Despite market sentiment around the app cooling, particularly with the growth of Instagram, and Instagram Stories specifically, the data suggests that teen users are still highly engaged on Snapchat, which presents Snap with various opportunities. The challenge for Snap now is to show that those users are not only engaged, but that they’re also responsive to ads.
Snap Inc.’s narrative of choice is that while they can’t compete with other platforms on overall user counts, they can on influence. Recently, Snapchat noted that users are now spending 40 minutes per day in the app, compared to the average Instagrammer who spends 32 minutes in-app. By Snap’s count, they have the edge in this critical category.
The next step is for Snap Inc. to show that they can convert that attention into revenue – which, thus far, has not been the case.
But still, the report’s a positive news story for the platform, and once again underlines why brands can’t ignore Snapchat, especially if younger audiences are your target market.
There are still many challenges for Snapchat to overcome, they have a lot of work to do to maintain their viability in the sector. But that hold on teen users is significant, especially in light of Facebook’s challenges.