The battle for millennial attention rages on between Snapchat and its biggest rival Instagram—and it appears Snapchat is on the ropes.
In the US, 34 percent of consumers between the ages of 18-to-34 said they used Instagram daily, compared with 28 percent for Snapchat. The poll by CivicScience also found that 43 percent of respondents have never used Snapchat at all, compared to 39 percent who have never used Instagram.
Instagram Stories, which launched last August, now reaches more than 200 million users a day. That’s more than Snapchat’s entire user base, which reported 173 million daily global users as of the second quarter of 2017.
According to Snap’s second quarter earnings report, the average revenue per user is $1.05. Ayzenberg’s Earned Media Value Index estimates Instagram to offer a higher value per view (VPV) than Snapchat, at $0.12 and $0.04, respectively.
Snap is now faced with the unique challenge of having to out think its own ideas since Facebook is more than happy to clone Snapchat features as quickly as they appear—but two can play that game. Shortly after Instagram announced direct video messages, Snapchat responded by enabling one-on-one texts, picture messaging and video chats.
The “ghost” may be down, but it’s not out just yet.
Despite being imitated by Instagram, many young consumers still prefer the original. A study by Survata found that users ages 13-to-34 still prefer Snapchat over Instagram. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said Snapchat is “cooler,” 67 percent said that Snapchat had better features and if they could only have one app, 51 percent named Snapchat.
February research from SCG, an advertising and public relations agency, surveyed 333 US high school and college students regarding social media usage. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they use Snapchat on a daily basis, just slightly more than said they use Instagram (76 percent) or Facebook (66 percent) on a daily basis.
Snapchat may be losing its charm with influencers, however. A study of 550 social influencers by Collective Bias found that only one percent of influencers feel Snapchat will be the most important social channel in five years. Almost 70 percent had paused certain social accounts to prioritize others, with 46 percent naming Snapchat as their first choice to cut.
Adding insult to injury, the study found that almost 80 percent of influencers are using Instagram Stories and 50 percent are using Instagram Carousel albums.
Snapchat has a long way to go before its user base can match that of Instagram, but young consumers aren’t abandoning the disappearing message app just yet. Until then, the war between two social giants will continue.