Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18-to-34-year-olds in the United States and has been called the most important social network for teens. So why are some of its most popular users leaving?
Because Snap doesn’t care if they do—at least that’s what one popular creator on the platform is saying.
Sarah Peretz’s Snapchat art has earned her recognition and brand partnerships across multiple platforms. Like many influencers, Peretz has been frustrated at Snapchat’s lack of analytics or tools to help build her brand. When she told a Snapchat product management executive she was thinking of leaving the platform, words were not minced in a response back. “Snapchat is an app for friends, not creators.”
While Snap could be applauded for its unwavering dedication to authenticity—and not “selling out”—creators are frustrated that they’re not appreciated for reeling in traffic to an app that boasts 161 million daily active users.
“Here I am in the middle of the Snapchat vortex,” Peretz says on her official website. “I am one of the first voices on the platform with enough influence to move consumer opinion and skyrocket engagement.”
Mike Platco, who has approximately 500,000 Snapchat followers, told Buzzfeed News recently that he’s encouraging his fans to follow him on Instagram after many years of feeling unappreciated by Snapchat.
The scenario is all too familiar. When Vine fell out of favor with marketers, its top users simply moved on to greener pastures like Snapchat and YouTube. When Facebook introduced Instagram Stories, creators made the move in favor of discover features and a wide range of analytics.
If Snapchat were consistent in its views, creators might stop getting their hopes up for respect from the company—but like an ex who can’t commit either way, the platform keeps sending mixed messages.
The disappearing message app has just introduced a new feature called the “paperclip” that allows users to add outside links to their stories—perfect for sponsored messages. Previous updates also allude to influence marketing such as being able to save stories, recording with Spectacles and more.
Snapchat may be for friends, but the app’s top users have a whole lot of “friends” who are happy to follow them elsewhere. Refusing to create relationships with its top users may come back to haunt “the ghost” just after its successful-but-not-blockbuster IPO.
Social media is for friends, but it’s for creators, too.