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Is Snapchat really the next big social media platform?



I’ve had it crammed down my throat for the last year-plus that this social media network is the NBT (next big thing for you rookies 😉 in social media.

snapchat pic

I’ve had snap stats shoved down my throat (400 million snaps per day, whatever that means).

I’ve had Snapchat’s founder, Evan Spiegel, and his entitled behavior, shoved down my throat.

I’ve had media constantly telling me that Snapchat is the next IT social media tool for brands.

But is it really? Will Snapchat really ever be a linchpin in our social media marketing toolkit?

I’m here to say “no way.”

Let me tell you why:

We have no real evidence it is as big as “they” say it is

Despite Snapchat releasing its impressive 400 million photos shared number the last few months, we really don’t know as much about that number as we think we do. In reality, it may be 400 million snaps received, which is a bit different. We still don’t know how many people actually use Snapchat. How many unique snaps are taken each day. And how many people have downloaded the app. I’m just a bit skeptical. I’m not saying Snapchat doesn’t have big numbers–I’m just not convinced they’re as big as they’ve been letting on.

It’s still just a platform for kids

Yeah, I said it. Here’s why: Not to be a broken record, but we just don’t know the hard numbers because Snapchat isn’t sharing them. From all accounts, Snapchat is a platform that’s predominantly used by kids (teens and early 20-somethings, women mostly). My hunch is I don’t see a lot of the coveted 25-44 demographic using Snapchat. Heck, the high end of that demo probably hasn’t even *heard* of Snapchat yet. Now, that doesn’t mean Snapchat is doomed to fail. But it also means it’s not a sure-fire lock to be the next Facebook either.

Large-scale behavior change is hard to come by

Ask Google+ how hard building a social network is from the ground up. Despite their big “user numbers”, we all know Google+ remains a niche platform from a social networking perspective. Snapchat will see the same resistance. Building a social network from the ground up to 1.5 billion users, as Facebook as done, is incredibly hard. It doesn’t happen overnight. And, what’s more, people simply don’t have the time for all these different networks. You’ve seen the effects of network fragmentation the last couple years. Snapchat may just end up being another nice niche network–not the new behemoth people are casting it to be.

Everyone’s still using Facebook

Yes, Facebook’s numbers in the key teen demo are losing steam. But the network still has 1.5 BILLION users. And, in other demos, those numbers are still growing. And sure, marketers are frustrated with the recent algorithm changes. But users are still visiting Facebook daily. And spending as much time there as they have been in recent years. Like I said above, most people aren’t looking for 3-4 social networks to spend time. They just want one or two spots (max) to check in with and communicate with their friends and family. For the bulk of the population, that’s still Facebook. And, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.   That’s my take. What do you think? Is Snapchat really the next big social platform? photo credit: Lauren(elle)n via photopin cc



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