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The power of Snapchat

Who would have thought a disappearing post would have such lasting appeal? Yet according to recent research from digital insights company Toluna, Snapchat is now a firm favourite amongst social media users. Paul Twite, managing director of Toluna UK says: “When Snapchat was launched in 2011 few thought the app had the potential to challenge already well-established social media contenders like Facebook and Twitter, but users proved to be fans of its disappearing content.”

Do you think Snapchat’s USP is around the disappearing nature of its posts?

Twite explains how Snapchat is influencing other apps: “As smartphone use increases, social media apps are increasingly copying Snapchat’s USPs in the hopes of following its success. Subsequently, Facebook and Instagram have introduced new features such as filters and stories in an attempt to attract users onto their channels instead.”

Do you think less people will use Snapchat now Instagram and Facebook have incorporated the story function?

Twite lists key findings of the study that looks at how Snapchat is perceived compared with other platforms:

  • Nearly half (43%) of respondents saw the app as having an equal impact to the likes of Facebook and Instagram. An almost even split at 52% of those surveyed believed that fewer people would use Snapchat now that Instagram and Facebook have incorporated the story function.
  • Facebook was reported to be the platform which influences respondent’s opinion the most at 46%, whereas Snapchat was seen to be the most influential by only 3%. (However, this could be related to the fact that Facebook was founded seven years prior to Snapchat and has had more of a chance to create an impact. Facebook also has more features than Snapchat so this could sway opinion.)
  • 54% of respondents see Snapchat’s USP as the disappearing nature of its posts and 62% of respondents said they do not think people spend time viewing branded content on Snapchat as the content disappears too quickly, suggesting that this key feature may be a reason for brands to stay away.
  • For brands looking to target consumers, the key social media platforms are Facebook (at 55%), YouTube (at 17%) and Twitter (at 13%) according to who were seen as holding the most sway for brands in communicating their message.

Which social media platform do you think has the most sway for brands in communicating their messages to consumers?

Discussing how Facebook still rules, Twite says: “It would seem that despite the bad press Facebook has received in the wake of the ‘Fake News’ scandal and other damaging allegations it is seen as the most influential social media channel. An interesting stat despite 51% of respondents saying it attracted the most negative press in the past year.”

Which social media platform do you think has attracted the most negative press in the past year?

In terms of Snapchat, Twite believes that it remains to be seen whether Snapchat is able to continue its successful trajectory, as the likelihood of social media channels mimicking successful, up-and-coming rivals and features is set to continue. “Snapchat itself is now beginning to replicate features of other apps, such as its latest take on Instagram’s Boomerang.”

These days, finding the right social media platforms to use is not easy concludes Twite: “Ultimately, brands have a challenge when using social media to promote their products and services. A combination of the proliferation of channels offering increasingly similar features and users constantly moving between apps means that it can be hard for brands to understand where best to reach consumers. With 72% of respondents saying they do not spend time looking at sponsored adverts on social media platforms, it is crucial that brands have a 360-degree view of consumer behaviour in order to ensure their content is filtering through to their target audiences.”

Do you spend time looking at sponsored adverts on social media platforms?


These figures come from a survey by Toluna of 1,000 UK adults. The full survey can be found here

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