Snapchat pioneered a disappearing messaging system that forever transformed the social media landscape. Once users were able to interact without worrying about the permanent consequences of internet communication, social networks acquired a new meaning. So it's been almost a decade since its launch, and if you're wondering if Snaps are the way to go for marketers, you're in the right place. We'll deal with all the FAQs, as well as answer the main one — how many people use Snapchat?
The innovative design of this mobile app encourages a more natural flow in communication. You can limit the time your Snap is viewable — 1 to 10 seconds or until closed by the recipient. In 2020, the platform ranked slow as 12th in worldwide popularity, but it nevertheless remains a top app for marketers for specific target groups of consumers. Let’s see how many people exactly use it.
As of January 2021, the total number of Snapchat users is close to half a billion — 498.2 million reported. In the last quarter of 2020, 65 million users joined the platform. That's a 15% growth. The most significant Q-o-Q increase interestingly happened with new users aged over 50, where an increase was 23.3% and 33.3% of female and male users.
When we examine the number of Snapchat daily active users (DAU), an interesting report points to the platform’s ups and downs throughout the years. The exponential growth was happening from the platform's launch until Q2 of 2018. Snapchat was at 191 million when they did an app redesign which had cost them a few million users. In Q3 of 2019, the number of DAU reached 200 million and has been growing since. The latest data shows as of the end of 2020, there are 265 million Snapchat daily active users. That's 22% year-on-year growth.
The vast majority of the platform’s users are young people — teenagers and young adults account for 82.2% of the platform’s user base. The numbers make sense when we consider the fact that they are digital natives. Their understanding of technology in general, including internet security and the potential consequences of permanent messages, makes them more likely to see the benefits of short-term availability of content.
Over half of the platform's users, 59% exactly, are aged under 24. Gen Z is an increasingly important target audience for social media marketing professionals because of the continuous rise in their direct and indirect purchasing power. Most of them are also still developing brand loyalty, making them the perfect opportunity for marketers.
As of January 2021, the USA has the most active users on Snapchat: 108 million. Compared to data from Q3 2020, that's a 6% increase. India ranks second with over 74 million and the highest recorded growth in popularity. Interestingly, their Q-o-Q increase was a stunning 49.3%.
These two lead the race by far as France, which ranks third, has only 24.5 million users. Some other countries where Snapchat has over 15 million users are the UK, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Germany. For companies targeting Gen Z and millennials, digital marketing professionals are wise to include the platform in their social strategy.
In terms of Snapchat users by country, in Saudi Arabia, where there are 19.6 million users of the platform, Snapchat has the highest reach of a stunning 71.4%. Denmark ranks second with a 51% penetration rate, while Ireland and Sweden share the third spot with 47% each. France is next with 44.2%, the Netherlands follows with 39%, and only then we have the US with a 28.6% reach. The UK, New Zealand, Australia also have a high reach, above 35%.
The latest data shows the distribution by gender, and the female audience is still prevailing on the platform, with 57.4%. Snapchat statistics show the biggest gap of 4.6% is among the youngest users, as 12.6% of Snapchat’s audience are girls aged 13-17 and 8% boys in the same group. Female users are prevailing in every age category. For 18-20, Snapchat’s audience is distributed 11.8% vs. 9.2%, then for 21-24, it's 9.3% vs. 8.1%, for 25-34 it's 12.1% vs. 9.5%, for 35-49 it's 8.9% vs. 4.9%. The group of users 50+ accounts for only 4% of the total, with 2.7% vs. 1.3% female vs. male users.
Gen Z and Millennials are loving Snapchat, both worldwide and in the US. 78% of US internet users aged under 35 are also Snapchat users. Snapchat is also the most popular platform with US teenagers, now favored over TikTok and Instagram. The app’s reach in the 13-24 age range is a whopping 90%, as the company states.
Even though Instagram's user base is more extensive among the same demographics, Snapchat dethroned it in popularity in 2016. Currently, 34% of teens say it's their favorite, while only 25 do so for Instagram. TikTok comes in between with 29%.
(Statista, Statista, Snapchat)
Out of 265 million daily active users on the platform, over 200 million report regularly engaging with augmented reality. AR plays a massive role in increasing engagement levels and is said to be revolutionizing how people experience the world. In 2018, the platform introduced Shoppable AR lenses and further boosted AR with voice search in 2020. Some of the most popular brands, such as Gucci, NYX, and Ralph Lauren, make use of the feature, allowing consumers to “try” their products this way.
Social media platforms have come a long way from being only a communication method with personal connections. The way people use them is changing as the features evolve. Among many other habits developed, people started using social media as a news source. The latest research shows that 19% of Snapchat users regularly get news on the platform.
(Journalism — Pew Research Center)
The latest company's report shows a whopping number of over five billion daily Snaps. The average number of daily Snaps increases by about 25% yearly, as the company's CEO Evan Spiegel noted in late 2020.
(Snapchat, Business Standard)
When we examine who uses Snapchat for social media marketing, the percentage is only 6% on a worldwide level. Even though it's not as popular as Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat marketing's potential is great if your target audience consists primarily of millennials and Gen Zers. US marketers leveraging the power of Snapchat have almost doubled from 2016 to 2020 — from 17.3% to 32.3%. It's an especially relevant platform for influencer marketing, as users are fairly receptive to it.
Snapchat is meant to be used on a mobile app. Unlike Instagram, for example, it doesn’t even have an official desktop version of a website. The only way to access Snapchat on the computer is by using an Android emulator. So, with 281 million downloads in 2020, Snapchat was the 7th most downloaded app worldwide. Statistics for the US only point to 51 million downloads and the same ranking.
There's an entire spectrum of different opportunities Snapchat creates for users, brands, and marketers. Early adoption of AR and VR, customized geotags, and the Discover content make it an attractive platform full of potential. It's up to you to experiment and engage half a billion Snapchat users!