More than a fad: the numbers behind Snapchat’s remarkable growth


Snapchat is a social media monster. From its relatively humble beginnings in 2012, to its current almost-super massive status among millennials, the app is fast becoming a must-have for both casual consumers and determined marketing minds.

But what can be said of Snapchat that hasn’t been said already? Well, quite a lot actually, according to new numbers released by analytics company Go Fish Digital.

Initially spotted by Inverse, the report sheds some light on Snapchat’s rip-roaring journey past Twitter and its contemporaries to become one of the most important apps on a smartphone today.

Snapchat is pretty damn big

According to the numbers, Snapchat reaches between 60-65% of the 18-25-year-old demographic, which Go Fish believes is the marketing sweet-spot.

“These younger groups tend to be trend setters for older generations and often dictate which social media is adopted on a society-wide scale,” the company adds.

Snapchat has also somewhat evolved over the course of its relatively short lifetime. The company added a number of features to make use of the voracious video generation, as well as simplifying the once unnavigable UI and tweaking the way users interact with snaps through Memories.

Related: Snapchat Memories lets users save, back up and repost previous snaps


Image: Big Fish Digital

Content absorption is another interesting statistic, with Big Fish suggesting Snapchatters watch around 800 hours of video content every second. Comparing this with video-centric site YouTube [2310 hours] and giant social network Facebook [1157 hours] and the network’s feats are quite impressive.

Additionally, users’ habits have changed too, according to Big Fish’s findings.

“Easier than texting”?

“A whopping 37% [of college students] thought that Snapchat allowed them to be more creative than other platforms.  Meanwhile, a minuscule 2% mentioned sexting,” the researcher notes, while 27% believed that the app was great for “staying in touch”. Nearly a quarter of respondents believed that the app is “easier than texting”.

And in terms of monthly users, Snapchat’s currently on 100-million active monthly users, according to Big Fish. That’s still less than Twitter’s 310-million, but according to other reports, Snapchat is bigger on daily users than its text-centric counterpart.

So what now for Snapchat?

The WSJ, citing comScore, suggests that around 38% of smartphone users in the US aged between 25 to 34 have a Snapchat profile. 14% of those users are 35 or older. This suggests that the network’s user base is slowly maturing, but that can only benefit the company’s current valuation and evolution, which stands at around US$18-billion.

Beyond the US though, the app faces a number of roadblocks in the Far East, where its rival (and aesthetic clone) Snow is making massive headway.

Related: Snapchat, meet Snow: Korea’s rival app makes waves in Asia

Snapchat also plans to roll-out a number of new features that make the app a bit less ephemeral. Even if this does go against the app’s primary differentiating factor, the aforementioned Memories feature will likely make newcomers to the service feel more at home. One of the service’s biggest problems was its esoteric layout and purpose, but it seems that it’s finally discovering what it really is, just like its millions of daily users.

Still, I have to disagree with those college students: nothing is easier than “texting”.

For all the numbers, have a look at Big Fish’s data set here.

Andy Walker, former editor


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