Snapchat grows more popular with older Americans as battle with Instagram heats up

Snapchat is all the rage among teens, but it turns out more American parents are also jumping on the social media bandwagon.

The ephemeral messaging app, which allows users to capture short videos or morph their faces into a dog, deer and other cute animals, is becoming more popular with Americans between the ages of 45 to 54, eMarketer found.

This year, Snapchat users in that age group will grow to 4.5 million, making up about 6.4 percent of the company’s 70.4 million users in the United States.

The market research firm had previously projected that U.S. users in that age group would make up 4.2 percent of Snapchat’s total users.

“The usage trends are largely the result of a shift in the primary use case of Snapchat,” forecasting analyst Jaimie Chung said in a statement. “Older groups are now more likely to tune in for content. The platform has multiple partnerships with television networks for mini-episodes. Meanwhile, the younger groups are less likely to add Snapchat when Instagram Stories can fulfill their broadcasting needs.”

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, revealed plans this month to go public at a valuation of up to $22 billion. The Venice tech firm is scheduled to price its shares on Wednesday, a day before it’s expected to make its public debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

But Snap still faces competition from other social media sites, including Facebook’s Instagram. The photo-sharing site released a new tool last year called Instagram Stories that lets photos and videos disappear from the site after 24 hours.

The feature, which is similar to Snapchat’s Stories, has 150 million daily active users worldwide.

Overall, Instagram has more than 300 million daily active users globally, which is far more than the 150 million people who use Snapchat every day.

EMarketer lowered its projections for Snapchat users who are 24 years old and younger because of the competition from Instagram.

And the gap between Snapchat’s and Instagram’s U.S. audience will start to widen through 2021, eMarketer estimates. By then, Instagram will have 98.7 million users in the United States, surpassing Snapchat’s U.S. users by 9.5 million.

Photo: Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. (Jae C. Hong/AP)


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