Is it me, or does it sometimes feel like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have become less about sharing useful or entertaining information and more about housing contentious and testy debates? It’s one of the reasons why I got rid of my Twitter account last year, and could at least be a contributing factor to why that particular platform is experiencing a drop in users worldwide.
Don’t get me wrong, social is still a fantastic opportunity for people to communicate and share ideas, often with worthwhile outcomes, but are people being put off by the needlessly heated and insult-laden quarrels? When you consider the fact that social media users have never been more spoilt for choice as to which platforms they spend their time on, then yeah, they’re probably looking for a reason to get rid of one or two apps.
Are people being put off by the needlessly heated and insult-laden quarrels?
One platform that has managed to avoid attracting swathes of argumentative internet users is Snapchat, and in turn boost its user numbers. The photo and video-messaging app has witnessed a dramatic upsurge in engagement levels as well, as Bloomberg News reported in January this year that Snapchat now delivers more than 7 billion videos to users every day. This is impressive because, 1) four months earlier that number was 4 billion, and 2) it’s only 1 billion fewer daily video views than Facebook, which is a platform with 15 times more users.
Now, admittedly, the lack of angry commenters on Snapchat is down to the fact that Snapchat doesn’t actually have a comments section. Probably one of the biggest differences between this and the other the major social platforms is that with Snapchat there is no commentary to go along with the content, and no opportunity for responses. So when the rest of us are spouting about the importance of using social media to interact with users, Snapchat’s off doing its own thing. It’s a one-way conversation in a world of two-way exchanges, and this opens new possibilities to reach audiences in uniquely creative and emotive ways.
Besides the lack of belligerent commenters, what makes Snapchat so appealing? It may have more to do with the other obvious distinction, which is that its content disappears forever a few short seconds after its viewed. This novel feature ups the fun and lessens the weight of eternal judgement – users enjoy it because they aren’t held to the same standards that come with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, and enjoyment equals engagement.
New possibilities to reach audiences in uniquely creative and emotive ways
Who’s using Snapchat?
So, which demographic is Snapchat appealing to most?
According to comScore’s 2015 US Mobile App Report, 76% of Snapchat’s users are Millennials, placing it sixth highest on the list of 20, not far behind the hugely popular Instagram. So if Millennials are the people you want to attract, it’d be advisable to start thinking creatively about how you market yourself on this channel.
According to comScore’s 2015 US Mobile App Report, 76% of Snapchat’s users are Millennials, placing it sixth highest on the list of 20, not far behind the hugely popular Instagram. So if Millennials are the people you want to attract, it’d be advisable to start thinking creatively about how you market yourself on this channel. For a start, its fleeting nature allows for a lot more irreverence in the content you put out.
Industry researchers in the US, Cowen and Company, reported in eMarketer earlier this year that more senior ad buyers plan to begin advertising on Snapchat than any other social channel – Facebook and Twitter seemed to be quite far down on the priorities list. Indeed, this is at least in part because most ad buyers are already marketing on these networks, but the interest shown in Snapchat indicates big things for the platform in 2016.
The interest shown in Snapchat indicates big things for the platform
Also, as a note to end on, Snapchat founders Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel have made a statement of intent for the coming year by slashing the introductory advertising rate from $700,000 to $100,000.
Maybe it’ll be a fad, maybe it won’t. Nevertheless, as experienced marketers will tell you, lots can be gained from jumping on a bandwagon. Particularly if you’re one of the early adopters – you’ll be advertising in a space with barely any competition for user attention.