Snapchat Grows Up

When Snapchat co-founder, Evan Spiegel, turned down Facebook’s $3 billion buyout offer in 2013, it had many in the industry, saying, “Wait, what?” The decision to decline the offer seemed foolish considering the platform at the time was only three years old and had made no money. But, Spiegel had the vision and guts to reject the offer and stake his claim in the social media landscape. After recently being valued at an estimated $20 billion, Snapchat has proven that it not only deserves a place in the social media landscape, but a rather large one at that. 

While the tremendous growth and scale of Facebook continues to impress advertisers and shareholders (and subsequently gobble up their ad dollars), Snapchat has seen incredible growth over the past few years as well. Here are some surprising statistics that highlight the astonishing growth of the platform:

  1. Snapchat now has more daily video views than Facebook
  2. Snapchat now has more users than Twitter
  3. 60 percent of Snapchat users are between 18-34 years of age
  4. 60 percent of all smartphone users are on Snapchat
  5. Millennials account for seven out of 10 users on Snapchat

These numbers are increasingly attractive to brands, especially those who market to younger demographics. 

Many advertisers have still been hesitant to invest heavily in the platform like they have with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, that is rapidly starting to shift. Snapchat has recently made significant announcements and advancements that many believe will help them compete for a much larger share of the total social media advertising spend. After years of improving the experience and growing user numbers, they are gearing up for their initial public offering this spring by making large strides to develop technologies, partnerships, and products to attract more advertisers. The first major update came in June 2016 with the launch of their Application Program Interface (API), which allowed Snapchat ads to be sold by third-parties for the first time. Snapchat also started to expand their inventory by placing ads in between stories on the app, where previously they only allowed ads within the Discover feature. They continued this trend by announcing ‘Snap Audience Match’ — the ability to target existing customers (similar to Facebook’s hit feature ‘custom audiences’ ) by email address. Most recently, Snapchat has continued to follow in the footsteps of Facebook (among others) and reportedly made a deal with Oracle Data Cloud (formerly Datalogix) to include third-party data as part of their targeting options.

These are just some of the major updates Snapchat has made in their effort to gain more traction among advertisers to meet their ultimate goal of $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2017. We look forward to seeing what comes next!

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Dustin Rubin

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