For most brands, the ROI on Snapchat has been nowhere near the effort required to build a worthwhile audience. In fact, just a few years ago some marketing analysts went as far as to say “Snapchat is over” after much of its active user base abandoned the social media network when Instagram co-opted its “story” feature. I gave up on it in 2017, except to play with the filters and communicate with friends when I lived outside the USA for a while.
But it looks like Snapchat may be getting a second look from leading-edge marketing types. The company released its numbers for last quarter the good news was that its user growth is up by 13 million. This is eye-opening after a stagnant year following competition from Instagram and a difficult, unpopular, user-unfriendly redesign.
So who and what is driving the sudden growth? Those who love the platform’s popular “gender swap” filter, the Android app redesign and growth in Snapchat’s Discover section that helps curate content based on a user’s data. The fact that Snapchat has been able to stay afloat and see revenue growth despite Facebook’s grab of its most popular features, stories, and face filters is a testament to its fan base, which is still mostly teens. In fact, more teens say they use Snapchat than Facebook, and as millennials grow older, this is a userbase that has quite rightly caught the attention of advertisers.
There’s a lot of potential for more growth through new features on the platform, which has already delivered a notable revenue increase. These include unskippable ads in its stories –- something Instagram has not adopted yet. It also has been partnering with multiple e-commerce platforms, a few steps that make other social media platforms (except Instagram) late to the gate
We see clear signs of life in this sometimes confounding platform that is trying hard to come back as a better version of its former self. We’re rooting for it, and watching if it can stick the landing.