Snapchat gains traction with older consumers as use case shifts

Dive Brief:

  • EMarketer has changed its forecast for U.S. Snapchat users in 2017 from 66.6 million projected last June to 70.4 million, a more than 5% increase, with most of the growth expected to come from new users 45 years and older, as reported on the group’s website.
  • The group also projects a 14.2% increase in U.S. Snapchat use compared to 2016 with growth slowing through 2021, although it expects total U.S. users to reach 89.2 million that year.
  • Usage trends for Snapchat are shifting as the use case for the platform changes, per the report. The platform has signed multiple partnerships with television networks for mini-episodes, helping it to attract older consumers. At the same time, younger users are less likely to add Snapchat when Instagram Stories can fulfill their needs. 

Dive Insight:

Snapchat's parent Snap Inc. is expected to announce the pricing for initial public stock offering after the market closes today and for shares to debut on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow. With previous indicators suggesting that Snapchat's user growth is slowing, the eMarketer research provides more color on how usage trends are evolving, information sure to interest potential investors as well as marketers who are considering how they might work with the platform going forward. 

A key takeaway is that Snapchat's audience, while evolving, is likely to remain niche, meaning the focus for Snapchat will be on retaining users and driving engagement. With the ramp up of content from TV networks succeeding at attracting new users, Snapchat is likely to look add more partners and offerings here. 

Most of Snapchat's growth is expected to come from new users 45 years and older, with 45- to 54-year-olds accounting for 6.4% of Snapchat users compared to the previous projection of 4.2%, per eMarketer. Snapchat has already been embraced by younger consumers but there have been questions that a user experience that can be difficult to grasp could scare off older consumers, which makes eMarketer's research welcome news for Snapchat. The app's total user numbers are reported from early February at around 150 million daily users. 

Filed Under: Social Media
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