In Snapchat's own words, they are a camera company. Their product empowers people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together. In industry watchers' words, they are an emerging power house. Last year, Snapchat's user base jumped up 27% to a staggering 59 million users, surpassing Twitter's 57 million. By 2020, Snapchat will have 85 million users, about double that of Twitter.
Snapchat has been especially successful at capturing younger users, particularly those 12 to 34. Snapchat’s biggest user base is between 18 and 24, with that age range representing 34.0% of Snapchat’s user base. That’s followed by Americans between 25 and 34, which represent 27.0% of Snapchat’s US user base. The fastest growing US age group for Snapchat is people under 12, which grew 42.9% in 2016.
“Snapchat has tapped into a key change in consumer behavior: The desire for intimate one-to-one or one-to-few communication as opposed to broadcast-style sharing across an entire network. This desire is particularly strong among millennials and younger consumers who don’t have strong ties to the traditional social networks,” said principal analyst Cathy Boyle.
Even with its explosive growth however, Snapchat will not be able to catch up to Facebook Messenger, which will continue to dominate the chat app category in the US. Messenger will capture 105.2 million users in the US this year—about twice that of Snapchat. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the US population will use Facebook Messenger at least once a month in 2016.
Over the next four years, the gap between Facebook Messenger and its rivals will widen. This year, Messenger will have 46.6 million more users than Snapchat. But by 2018, it will have 53.7 million more users.
Jay & Julia Taylor own and operate Caney Creek Studio. Caney Creek Studio is a video production, digital marketing, and social media management agency.