Can Snapchat Really Match up Against the Bigger Hitters in Social War?

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In social media, Facebook and YouTube reign supreme. But there are a host of up and comers and strong contenders, especially second generation apps like Instagram and Snapchat, which marketed to Millennials and younger audiences, leaving Facebook largely to their parents. Twitter, though it does cross generations, is not in the top three.

The Social Media Giants

At this point, Facebook, with more than 2 billion users, is setting the bar and lapping the field. YouTube has half that, and Instagram is a solid number 3 at 700 million. Twitter claims 313 million and Reddit has 250 million.

With only 166 million daily users, as of May 2017, Snapchat has a lot of ground to cover to make it into the top five, so what makes it a contender? Two words: target and upside. Today’s teens grew up with Snapchat. At six years old, for seniors who just graduated, they’ve had the image and video sharing app for pretty much all of middle and high school. Snapchat is as ubiquitous for them as CDs were for their parents and records were for their parents. Sure, today’s teens also spend a lot of time on Instagram, but that’s not who Snapchat has its sights on.

Snapchat Continues Adding New Features

In an ever-changing search for how to best monetize Snaps, the app has recently added features that make it easier for users to record consecutive videos, up to six 10-second videos at a time. This comes on the heels of previous enhancements like photo-editing, new 3D filters, and other options. Why all these innovations? Facebook.

Snapchat is going after the absolute goliath in the industry, trying to bleed off enough users to vault into that top five. It has a long way to go. And, growing at a rate of 5 percent, it will take a long time to get there.

Snapchat Wins Over Younger (and Older) Users

Sure that’s going to be a challenge, but that’s not to say Snapchat doesn’t have an upside. It is growing, and kids still love it. They’re not as interested in having a Facebook account their parents can monitor. And, by the time they start college, Snapchat will be moving into the young adult market along with them. With more freedom, more money and a wider world waiting, these young people could give Snapchat the monetizing boost it really needs to be relevant in the overall social media discussion.

That is unless all those younger users end up jumping on Facebook and LinkedIn with all the other “old folks.”

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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