Editor’s Note: This post is one of Convince & Convert’s Top 10 Posts of 2016.
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My good friends at Edison Research handled the data gathering for my new book, Hug Your Haters, and we discovered that customer service is being massively disrupted.
Now the Edison team is back with a new edition of their annual Infinite Dial research (they partner with Triton on it) and they’ve found another disruptive force: Snapchat.
To read all of the Infinite Dial findings (I very much recommend you do so) go here. The report is bursting with fascinating statistics, and not just about Snapchat, but also about podcasts, streaming, online radio, and beyond.
There’s been a LOT of chatter recently among the social media cognoscenti about the emergence of Snapchat, but many people have wisely taken these entreaties with a grain of salt. Some of these “influencers” tend to hype up each new social platform, build an audience base due to first-mover advantage, and then shift to the next platform. This is the social technology version of a Jordan Belfort pump and dump scheme.
But if you had some doubts, I can now tell you FOR CERTAIN that the Snapchat movement is very, very real. The statistics nestled in The Infinite Dial are remarkable and prove a simple truth:
Snapchat is the second most powerful social platform in the United States.
Here’s why that’s so: the 5 Snapchat statistics from Edison’s Infinite Dial that prove the power of Snapchat.
1. More People Know Snapchat Than Know Pinterest or Linkedin
Given that it’s been around for a lot shorter time, it’s amazing that more Americans are familiar with Snapchat than with Pinterest or Linkedin (not to mention Tumblr, Vine, et al).
In the past 12 months, awareness of Snapchat among Americans 12 and older grew from 60% to 71%.
2. Snapchat’s User Base Is Larger Than Twitter, Pinterest, or Linkedin
Think about that. For a looooong time we’ve put Facebook and Twitter in the same sentence. Now, Twitter isn’t even in the same paragraph, replaced in the top tier by Instagram (also owned by Facebook), and Snapchat.
3. Snapchat Has Grown Four Times as Quickly as Twitter Did
The narrative that Twitter’s growth has stalled has been an albatross on its stock price for some time now, and the struggle is real.
In the 2013 Infinite Dial study, 15% of Americans said they used Twitter. By 2016 21% of the country claimed Twitter usage. Between 2015 and 2016, Snapchat went from 17% to 23%. That’s an incredibly steep curve and now that Snapchat is breaking into more mainstream audiences, I predict it to approach 30% by next year.
4. Snapchat Is the Number-Two Social Network in the U.S.
Ranked by which social network they use most often, Snapchat is now in second position across the entire United States, with 8% of Americans citing Snapchat as the place they visit most. Instagram is third at 7%. Both are far, far behind Facebook, a place that 61% of social media using Americans say is their favorite.
Note that last year, Snapchat was tied for FIFTH in this preference list.
This is a particularly noteworthy Snapchat statistics because it demonstrates that rising awareness is leading to increased trial, and increased trial is leading to robust stickiness. All very positive indicators for future growth.
5. Young Americans Love Snapchat
This doesn’t come as a surprise, but seeing the actual data brings this point home.
Facebook (including Messenger) remains the most popular social platform among Americans 12-24 years old, with 32% saying they use Facebook most.
Snapchat is second with 26%, far outpacing Instagram at 17%.
This is a big move in just one year, as the previous edition of The Infinite Dial showed Facebook at 43%, Instagram in second place at 18%, and Snapchat at 15%.
Essentially what has happened is that in 12 months, 10% of the entire nation’s population of social media using 12-24 year-olds moved from Facebook to Snapchat as their platform of choice. Wow!
Snapchat’s growth makes it a force to be reckoned with in a way that has few precedents (other than Facebook and Instagram, perhaps).
Please do grab the entire Infinite Dial study. I’ve just given you a tiny taste with these 2016 Snapchat statistics. There’s a lot more you’ll enjoy.
Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting