What Is Snapchat And Why Is It So Popular?

Posted by Emily Watson on Sep 26, 2018 10:10:00 AM
Emily Watson


You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about Snapchat lately, a very popular app among millennials. Sixty percent of all smartphone users are now on Snapchat and over 10 billion videos are viewed per day on the app. Impressive, huh? So, what exactly is Snapchat and why has it grown to be one of the most downloaded and used apps of 2018?

So, what is it?

Snapchat originated in 2011 by Stanford graduate students. The app was created as a timed photo sharing platform where friends could “snap” a picture and send it to their friends and choose how long they got to see the photo. Then the photo was gone forever. The days of only sending pictures, is gone. Through the years, the app has grown significantly to include things such as messaging, videos, filters, voice and text overlay, stories and much more. (Let's not forget about the very popular filter where you can make yourself have dog ears). Snapchat is only available on mobile devices, which makes sense given its primary audience.

Statistic snapshot

It may come as no surprise that 71% of active Snapchat users are under 34 years old. Here are some more interesting facts:

  • As of September of 2018, there are 188 million daily active users
  • Rated as one of the most popular social apps among teenagers and young adults
  • 3 billion snaps (photos and videos) created every day
  • Average time spent (per user) on a daily basis is 30+ min
  • Active users open the app 25 times every day
  • More than 20,000 photos are shared every second

Snap-MapWhy is it so popular?

  • Its temporary: Younger audiences like clean channels. Pictures you send to friends are gone as soon as they view the message and user stories are gone after 24 hours.
  • Interaction: Geo-filters offer users a fun way to interact with their own photos in different locations. 
  • Friends: The app offers a quick, easy way for friends to stay connected and up to date on each others lives without having to swipe through a news feed.  A newer feature, Snap Map, allows friends to share their location on a map so they can see what their friends are up to all over the world. The map also features "hot spots" where there is a lot of Snapchat action such as events, that users can watch.  

Snapchat for businessesWine-Brew-Walk-Snapchat-Filter-Meadville

The app continues to expand every day allowing more ways for business owners to utilize it. If Gen Z is your target audience, it makes sense to be on the Snapchat bandwagon since this is a part of their daily lives. Here is a quick overview of how businesses can utilize the app:

  • Snap Ads: Build brand awareness with these 10 second ads that appear between users story feed. Users can swipe up on the ad to go to the full content (typically on your website).
  • Geo-filters: This is artwork that you can upload for users to use on their photos in a certain area and time. The cost depends on how large you set your geo-fence and how long your filter will be available. This is great for events or grand openings since users share their pictures (with your filter), and in turn, all of their friends see it as well.
  • Awareness: If you’re not looking for paid advertising quite yet, you can always work on your Snapchat following and post stories (for free!) for all of your friends/customers to see. You might also try adding an incentive to your Snap for them to mention when they come to your business.

If you’re new to the Snap world, it is a great mobile app to learn more about. It continues to grow and gain more visibility every day. Whether you are looking for opportunities for your business, or just want to see what the “cool kids” are doing these days… you can’t go wrong with Snapchat.

Topics: Marketing Tactics, Marketing Technology, Key Trends, Small Businesses, Social Media Tactics, Brand Awareness

Posted by Emily Watson

Emily Watson was born and raised in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Communications, focusing in Public Relations. Following college, Emily moved to Colorado where she got her start at a marketing agency as a Project Manager. Upon her return to Pennsylvania a few years later, she worked as an Account Executive managing clients such as New York Philharmonic, Rite Aid, Ruby Tuesday, and Belle Tire. Currently, Emily is a Marketing Strategist at Bull Moose Progressive Marketing located in Meadville. She is on the Senior Student Advisory Board for Slippery Rock University as well as a volunteer for the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler.