- In a new report, eMarketer forecasts Snapchat will grow its user base by 27.2% this year and 13.6% in 2017. The social media app's user base grew 83.9% in 2014 and 40.7% in 2015 as the app quickly rose in popularity after its summer 2011 launch.
- eMarketer expects 58.6 million Americans will use Snapchat at least once a month in 2016, with that figure making up about 28% of U.S. mobile users and 18% of the overall U.S. population.
- eMarketer expects Snapchat's audience to get older. While millennials make up 70% of its user base today, the research firm predicts that demographic will make up 56% of users by the end of 2020.
With its quirky, camera-based user experience, Snapchat has become the most recent major social media success story. While the highly visual nature of the app is somewhat akin to Instagram, the overall user experience remains unique. Snapchat recently surpassed Twitter in a number of user metrics, and eMarketer's forecasts for the two social platforms could not be more different. While Snapchat is expected to continue its rapid user growth, Twitter has been stagnating, with eMarketer revising down its prediction of 8% user growth this year down to 2%.
But while Snapchat has seen soaring engagement with users, it has been something of a challenge for marketers, at least until recently. The app's millennial-heavy audience is highly desired, but reaching that audience was difficult because Snapchat did not make advertising very easy or marketer-friendly due to a lack of any targeting and measurement tools. That has changed of late as Snapchat seeks to attract advertisers, with the app rolling out a number of ad units at a range of price points and actively adding tools and features that marketers have come to expect when advertising on social media platforms.