Snapchat started as a simple messaging app that made the idea of ephemeral messages into a trend among social platforms. It was very appealing for the younger generation to communicate through ephemeral images and even Instagram imitated this idea.
However, as Snapchat started growing, even before Instagram started copying its Stories feature, it wasn’t enough anymore to rely on a particular target audience. Although users aged 15-24 were the core of the platform, Snapchat decided to appeal more to a wider audience.
The rise of visual content and the collaborations with brands and publishers led to a different experience on Snapchat, with content consumption and advertising gaining a significant role.
Then as Snapchat was exploring how to take its popularity to the next level, Instagram decided to create its own ephemeral Stories, which made Snapchat re-evaluate its future.
Focusing on an older audience
According to eMarketer, Snapchat saw an increase of 14.2% in its usage from 2016, and is expected to reach 70.4 million users in the United States in 2017.
What’s more interesting is the fact that its biggest growth base is the 45-54 age demographic, who currently make up 6.4% of the app’s US audience.
There is even a projection that Snapchat’s audience will grow older year over year, as millennials start heading to Instagram’s stories for their daily ephemeral content.
eMarketer predicts that US Snapchat users will reach 89.2 million by 2021 and although young adults will still be the main audience, the growth base will be significantly larger towards the older adults.
Going public, reaching a bigger audience
As Snapchat decided to go public, the expectations are increasing and so does its need to grow bigger.
It’s not enough anymore to be the outsider in the battle of the social platforms and the company seems to realise the importance of facing its competitors.
As Instagram and Facebook dominate the social landscape, what’s the best way to proceed from now on?
Snapchat seems to acknowledge that it’s not just about the Stories and the live content anymore. In fact, it’s exploring new areas to focus on, and this is probably the right time to do so.
2017 will be a year of maturity for Snapchat, a highly anticipated development from brands that expect improved metrics and analytics for their efforts. As advertising budgets keep increasing, it’s only a matter of time before marketers start to explore the unique ROI that Snapchat offers, despite the ephemerality of the content.
Snapchat is responsible for the rise of vertical video and as it seems to bring better results in terms of completion rate, they will still be a powerful way for the platform to encourage more brands to try out its ads.
Moreover, Snapchat seems determined to expand towards consumer products, with Spectacles being already available, offering us a glimpse of what’s next. This can be combined with the idea of integrating ecommerce into the platform, which could serve as a great appeal for businesses that haven’t joined the app yet.
Just because Snapchat goes beyond its original audience doesn’t mean that it has to lose its authenticity, though. We’re hoping that it will maintain its concept, as it is also looking for all the new ways that it can beat the competition.
It certainly won’t be an easy task, but at least momentum is currently on its side.
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