Yesterday in the weekly LifeWay Social email (which you can subscribe to in the sidebar), I shared an article from Buzzfeed titled, “Snapchat Use Is Down 34% Among Top Influencers.” Here’s a bit from the article:
Since Instagram launched Stories in August 2016, some people have noticed a decline in activity on Snapchat. Now, there is data to support that. The marketing firm Mediakix studied the behavior of top influencers who are active on both platforms, and it found that they are posting 33% less to Snapchat and 14% more to Stories.
To get this data, Mediakix tracked 12 influencers, counting the number of posts to Snapchat and Instagram stories they posted each day for two 30-day periods separated by six months. They specifically chose a sample that posted regularly to both platforms, had large followings, and, crucially, had been signed to a Snapchat-specific marketing agency or did sponsored posts on Snapchat in the past.
Matt Cutshall, who became a star on Vine and then migrated to Snapchat and Instagram, told Mediakix, “For me, Snapchat has completely fallen off. Their platform has not evolved to make it more user friendly … the only benefit I see using Snapchat is their better filters and ability to face swap.”
A number of years ago, Facebook turned down a $3 billion purchase offer from Facebook. Most people thought Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was insane for turning that offer down. He bet on himself and his company.
Snapchat, whose parent company is Snap, Inc. filed their initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year. Since the company became public, its stock value has been cut nearly in half.
Is Snapchat Dying?
It’s hard to say Snapchat is dying. Just earlier this year during one of their investor meetings, Snapchat reported that 2.5 billion Snaps are sent per day, which compares to about 500 million tweets, last I saw.
People are not leaving Snapchat in droves. But the keystone feature that made Snapchat unique—its “stories—was copied by Instagram this year, and it seems that Snapchat hasn’t been the same since.
Key influencers among Snapchat’s overwhelmingly young demographic are not posting on the platform nearly as much as they’re posting on Instagram. Some say, though, that this is not necessarily a signal that normal people are leaving the platform. It could be that it is simply easier to get endorsement deals on Instagram, which is leading influencers to spend more time on that platform.
Is Snapchat dying? it’s hard to say. But, it is easy to say that Instagram is encroaching on its turf among some of the most prominent users of each platform.
What Will Happen to Snapchat?
I tweeted this yesterday, and it’s a wacky prediction, but I think it may be possible:
Random prediction: Facebook will buy Snapchat within two years, take its data, kill the app, and experiment with its glasses.
— Chris Martin (@ChrisMartin17) October 5, 2017
Evan Spiegel, the founder and CEO of Snapchat, is widely regarded as one of the brightest young leaders in Silicon Valley. Most in the tech community believe in him enough that widespread panic has not set in.
But, if more and more of the most famous users of both Snapchat and Instagram begin to favor the latter over the former, I think the social media superpower, Facebook, may make yet another offer for Snapchat that Spiegel will have no choice but to take.
Chris Martin is the Co-Creator and Chief Content Officer at LifeWay Social as well as a Content Strategist at LifeWay. He and his wife Susie live outside Nashville, TN.