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Snapchat User Growth Forecast Upgraded

Global Snapchat Usage Up 14% According To eMarketer

Snapchat looks set to end 2020 on a high, according to the latest figures released by eMarketer.

A run of successful feature launches, including its viral Gender Swap Lens, a revitalised Android app and integrations with a host of third parties, such as Tinder, Reddit and Buzzfeed, are all now starting to yield dividends, following a tough 2018.

By the end of the year, Snapchat will have 293.01 million users worldwide, up 14.2% over last year. That’s an upward forecast adjustment from eMarketer’s second quarter forecast of 281.27 million.

With higher growth rates built into its new forecast, eMarketer expects Snapchat to add more than 63 million users by the end of 2023, vs its previously estimated 52 million.

Hearts & Minds Of The Cool Kids

While Snapchat trails Instagram, the gap is not perhaps as large as many marketers think.

According to eMarketer, Worldwide, Instagram will grow by 11.6% to 788.43 million users this year.

While Instagram is roughly two-and-a-half times the size of Snapchat, a decent chunk of that discrepancy can be attributed to regional and demographic factors.

Snapchat is pretty weak outside of western markets, while its user base also skews heavily towards 13 – 25 year-olds. Instagram, on the other hand, has a broader base internationally and demographically.

During April’s Snap Partner Summit, Ev Spiegel, Snap CEO, claimed Snapchat was the best way to reach Gen Z, We reach more 13 to 24-year-olds than Facebook or Instagram in the United States, the U.K, France, Canada and Australia.’

Snapchat Uptake From Marketers

Instagram not only has more users than Snapchat but also commands a larger slice of the worldwide digital ad pie.

Although Instagram’s user base is approx. 2.5 times greater, its portion of marketing investment is nearly 10 times higher.

Instagram net revenues globally will reach $15.01 billion this year, giving it a 4.6% share of digital ad spending. Snapchat will generate $1.53 billion in net ad revenues this year, capturing 0.5% of worldwide digital ad spend.

From this data alone, it is clear to see Snapchat is under-indexed, in terms of marketing investment. Unsurprisingly, Snapchat is expected to experience a surge in investment through 2020 – 2021, as per eMarketer’s latest data:

Snapchat Ad Revenues Worldwide

  • 2019 = $1.53 billion

    • Year on year change = 45.2%

  • 2020 = $2.03 billion

    • Year on year change = 33%

  • 2021 = 2.62 billion

    • Year on year change = 29%

A growing and engaged user base, combined with improvements in Snapchat’s marketing solutions, will obviously help its cause.

Likewise, the continued escalation in marketing costs on Facebook and Instagram, through 2020, will start to bite, with organisations beginning to consider and explore better value opportunities outside of Mark Zuckerberg’s empire.

Be that online or off.

Snapchat’s Future

None of the above it lost on Wall Street.

Following its product redesign calamities in 2018, Snap stock hit a low of $4.82 in December, versus its 2017 IPO price of $17 and a 2017 peak of $29.44.

Fast forward twelve months, and it’s a different picture. Snap stock is now trading above $15 per share, primarily driven higher by a combination of rekindled user growth and improving per-user revenue.

Unlike other social players, creativity and innovation are integral to Snap’s DNA.

However, anything decent it rolls out is likely to be cloned and scaled by others within three – twelve months. Therefore, on this note, Snap might do well to take a leaf out of Maccas’ book.

Ray Croc, the business genius who gave the world the Golden Arches, famously said in his autobiography, ‘Grinding It Out’, ‘We had to invent faster than our competitors can copy’.

Snap got its mojo back in 2019 and if it continues to innovate at the pace which it has this year it is highly likely eMarketer will be upgrading its growth forecasts again in 2020.

On that note, I’m off to try and score some new Yeezys for my Bitmoji

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