- Snapchat is competitive with Facebook for teen engagement despite being around one-eighth of the social giant's size, according to an eMarketer report cited by Recode. Snapchat has nearly 160 million daily active users at last report while Facebook has 1.3 billion.
- Fifty-nine percent of 12- to 17-year-olds, 68% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 42% of 25- to 34-year-olds use Snapchat at least once a month every month during the year. By comparison, Facebook sees 64% monthly engagements based on the same metrics with 12- to 17-year-olds, 77% with 18- to 24-year-olds and 81% with 25- to 34-year-olds.
- Snapchat also surpasses Instagram's 400 million daily active users for teen fandom, with almost 4x as many 12- to 17-year-olds. Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company, has been looking at older demographics to sustain audience growth but might lose some of its "cool" factor with younger users if adults join the app in large numbers, Recode said.
The eMarketer research dramatically underscores just how popular Snapchat still is with teens despite a proliferation of copycat services, especially from Facebook, which has seen success with clone products like Instagram Stories or WhatsApp Status. This means marketers and publishers are likely to stay interested in Snapchat, as they are eager to reach younger demographics like Gen Z for the potential to convert them into lifelong customers.
Snapchat's sustained engagement and value with teens are essential as it weathers headwinds following an initial public stock offering in March. Snap will report its first quarterly earnings this week, which TechCrunch noted will double as "heat check" on its ad products as well as user growth.
Snapchat has long proved frustrating for marketers for a lack of tools to properly measure the success of digital campaigns, but it's sought to correct that course of late, expanding self-serve options along with rolling out new ad products, including a Snap to Store offline attribution tool.
While Snapchat's dedicated teen user base is good news for now, some might be concerned about the lower engagement from older demographics. It's possible that younger users might move past the platform as it matures along with them, and a lack of older users on Snapchat means that its overall audience would then face steep declines.
Nearly half of surveyed U.S. adults think Snapchat is just a fad, according to recent research from the company Fluent.