Does Snapchat Have Staying Power?

As the age old saying goes; what comes up must come down. Social Media platforms are no exception; from the fall of MySpace to the rise of Instagram social networks don’t last forever. This year has been a tough one for Snapchat, downloads have stalled, and their stock price almost matches its IPO. Facebook essentially carbon copied Snapchat’s layout for their immensely popular Instagram Stories and then again in the original Facebook App. It seems there is a race to create an all-in-one app that would render at least one of the apps, Snapchat most likely, irrelevant. Its not all doom and gloom though for the little ghost.

Snapchat has loyal users and exciting new partnerships coming. Though a smaller base, Snapchat’s users are highly engaged. Daily users check the app 18+ times on average per day. These are the users that will help the app stay afloat; Snapchat is essential for their day-to-day communications. With 35% of Snapchatters unreachable on Facebook on any given day and 46% of Snapchatters unreachable on Instagram any given day its clear that Snapchat is filling a niche in the market, and that those who favor it are less engaged with its competitors.

The disparity can be attributed to the feel of each app and the content it provides. Snapchat has its own news and TV programs and has just signed a $100 Million content partnership with Time Warner. Instagram and Facebook don’t have these kinds of features (yet), which gives Snapchat an edge. 22% of Snapchatters are 13-17, 36% are 18-24, 27% 25-34 and only 14% are 35 and over, making it an attractive app for investors looking to target a younger audience.

Yes, the news and program content is important, but realistically, for everyday Snapchat users it’s the casual feel of Snapchat that makes the platform unique. With Instagram there is pressure to put out high quality, beautiful images, even on their stories. Snapchat on the other hand is perfect for funny pictures, silly videos and bad selfies. Snapchat is not for curating enviable content, its for sharing bits of your day with those closest to you. Instagram is for the highlights, Snapchat is for everything in-between. And unlike Facebook stories, the random kid from 7th grade who just got out of jail and your aunt are not going to see your snaps.

Maybe one-day Instagram users will chill out or Snapchatters may get more serious, but until then we’ll save our double chins for Snaps and our completely composed with a 40-minute set up time “candids” for Instagram.