As Snapchat is poised to release its quarterly earnings today, for the first time, the financial community is holding its breath. We surveyed 1,885 US consumers to better understand Americans’ usage of different social networks as well as their perceptions of Snapchat specifically.

While Snapchat has increased in popularity, the app is facing an uphill battle as it strives to overtake other social media platforms. Snap still lags behind social networks such as Facebook and Instagram in terms of membership, frequency of usage and ad receptivity. The app, however, has gained a notable following among the coveted young millennial group (aged 18-24), who are currently using Snapchat at the same rate as Facebook and Instagram. Will these young users be their saving grace?

Here’s what the numbers say from our study:

  • Only 13% of Americans say they use Snapchat, compared to 67% for Facebook and 20% for Instagram. Usage of Snap is much higher among Young Millennials aged 19-24 (48%).
    • Almost a third (31%) of Snapchat users think that Snapchat is just a fad, more so than users of other social platforms. In comparison, only 11% of Facebook users think the same of Facebook and 22% of Instagram users of Instagram.
    • Snapchat users are also less likely to believe they will continue using the app in 5 years. Two thirds (65%) think they will continue usage, compared to 87% for Facebook and 74% for Instagram users.
  • Advertising receptivity for Snapchat has room for improvement, as 62% of Snapchat users say they “always” or “often” skip ads on the platform.
    • Presently, about 43% of Snapchat users remember seeing ads on the app and only 12% said they have ever purchased anything after seeing an ad on Snap. In comparison, 41% of Facebook users who saw an ad on Facebook said they made a purchase, 30% of Instagram users and 41% of Twitter users.
  • There is a silver lining for Snapchat, in the form of the young millennials segment (users aged 18-24) who are the most devoted users of the app.
    • Nearly half (48%) of young millennials said they used Snapchat in the past month, compared to only 13% for all Americans.
    • In fact, Snapchat usage among this group rivals that of Facebook (49%) and Instagram (46%).
    • Young millennials overwhelmingly believe that Snapchat is here to stay; Only 9% think it’s a fad, less than for Facebook and Instagram.
    • Young millennials are also more likely to think they will use Snapchat in 5 years (80%) compared to all Snapchat users (65%).
  • However, even though young millennials are ardent Snapchat users, they are just as unlikely to purchase anything after seeing an ad on Snapchat as the rest of Snap users (15%), signaling potential monetization difficulties for Snap Inc. in the future.

Methodology:

Fluent’s “Snapchat Survey April 2017” was conducted online within the United States by Fluent, LLC on April 26, 2017 among 1,885 US consumers (aged 18 and up for both waves). Due to rounding, percentages may not always add up to 100%. Fluent’s proprietary ad serving technology includes a real-time survey module that was used to facilitate the data collection for this study. Respondents were randomly selected and data was weighted to US Census 2010 population distribution.

https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml