Study: Gen Z frequents Snapchat more than its social media rivals

Dive Brief:

  • America’s high school and college students are returning to Snapchat more often than other social networks, according to the results of a survey conducted by SCG. Slightly over half reported they are on Snapchat at least 11 times a day, 71% said they turn to Snapchat six or more times a day, and 78% revealed they use Snapchat daily, compared to 76% using Instagram and 66% using Facebook daily. 
  • Querying the Gen Z members about various social media networks, SCG found that 88% use Instagram and Snapchat often versus 81% for Facebook and 66.6% for Twitter. The survey documented lower usage of Tumblr, YouTube and Pinterest. 
  • When SCG asked students what brands they believe effectively employ Snapchat, they cited Cosmo, Buzzfeed and the Kardashians. The advertising and public relations firm also noted keen interest in real stories or day-in-the-life content, and behind-the-scenes and how-to videos. 

Dive Insight:

SCG’s survey results concur with data from Fluent and Piper Jaffray showing Snapchat rules the social media universe of young people. But the conclusion of SCG’s analysis and similar studies isn’t that Snapchat’s domination is unchallenged. Quite the contrary, Instagram is nipping at its heels and Facebook is doing a good job of remaining relevant. In an indication of Instagram's serious competition with Snapchat, Instagram Stories has passed Snapchat for daily active users, proving that imitating a competitor isn’t a bad strategy.   

For social media industry observers who argue Instagram will ultimately topple Snapchat, SCG’s survey doesn’t serve up ample evidence to support that argument. Instead, it suggests Snapchat is pretty entrenched in young people’s social media patterns. They use it to stay in touch with friends (89.5%), create and share images, videos and stories (56.8%), and even keep a Snapchat streak going (49.2%). And SCG highlighted about a quarter of survey respondents said Snapchat is essential to their relationships. Nearly 90% of users reported enjoying geofilters, and 85% revealed they like Snapchat lenses.

Based on its survey results, SCG advised marketers to be agnostic when it comes to social media platforms, but understand the ways in which the platforms are unique. When it comes to Snapchat, the firm recommended harnessing the platform for storytelling, providing different perspectives and engaging in thoughtful interactions with students. Michael Cherenson, SCG’s executive vice president for public relations, stressed, “Cookie cutter content will be pushed aside.” 

Filed Under: Apps Mobile marketing trends Tech and platform developments
Top image credit: Applicantes