Snapchat is rolling as the hot app and Facebook is taking a serious look at its competitor so it can shore up many of its most successful features.
At the same time, Snapchat is moving away from ephemeral content and beginning to engage in a stronger battle against the most popular social network in the world than we first thought. Will there be a clear winner?
We may not have all the stats to compare side by side the audience for both platforms, but Facebook is #1 with its 1.65 billion monthly active users. There’s no social platform yet that can beat this number, while Snapchat says it has 100 million daily users but no hard facts to back those numbers up.
Snapchat got popular for its impressive appeal to the younger audience, starting as a fun and instant form of communication among teenagers. Although it has evolved since then, it is still popular to the audience aged 13-24, as it forms 60% of its audience. Snapchat states that it reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds here in the US on any given day. Facebook may be the most popular network but it's appeal to the younger audience has given away to mid millennials and the over 40 generation. Teens early 20 somethings don't want nothing to do with those stats as they like their own "space" in the world of social media. There has been a 46% growth of new Facebook profiles from 2012 to 2015 for the ages of 45-54, while a decline of 25% has been noted at the same period for the new Facebook profiles of people aged 13-17 in the U. S. Young people face a new reality when family members join Facebook. They head to new platforms to freely express themselves. They don't abandon Facebook they just don't share content on it as much. They use Instagram and Snapchat for those outlets.
This is probably the most obvious popular feature for Snapchat. The power to make its users check content with high frequency on it's platform before the content disappears. Snaps last for just 24 hours, which means that FOMO (fear of missing out) can become more intense, especially once you start adding more friends.Facebook seems to be fascinated lately with the idea of ephemeral content and that’s why it announced the launch of secret conversations on Messenger, a feature that will introduce encrypted messages with a timer to control the when they will be visible to the recipient.
Snapchat has managed to create impressive engagement with ephemeral content, but it’s still not easy to beat Facebook, which has turned into a daily routine for a great number of its users. Adults spend about 23 minutes a day on Facebook according to most stats. Snapchat has observed that 54% of its its users engage with the app daily, while the average iOS user spends an average of 18 minutes on Snapchat during the day, which means that there is an indication that the battle of engagement will become even more competitive soon.
You don’t have to like (or even understand) Snapchat to admit that it brought a new type of content to social media, with its explosive growth being attributed to the combination of ephemerality, creativity, simplicity and visual content.The idea of vertical video has proven to be successful (and effective for brands), while filters turned out to be a fresh use of branded promotion.It wouldn’t be fair to omit Facebook’s own authenticity back when it started, but as it’s heading to a more mature status, we’ll give this round to Snapchat and its attempt to beat the odds of success at a surprisingly fast rate.
For The Fun Of It
Snapchat is fun. No question about it. Facebook as it is today really is not meant to be fun but more of an informative platform. This is why teens and young people have left it. They want fun because they have not grown up. They want to be entertained and they want excitement. While Facebook in its infancy was cool to be on it has evolved into a communication tool that the older generation has embraced. Facebook however has established itself and we know it will be around a long time. The verdict on Snapchat is still out as it is still a relative "fad" platform but growing. Snapchat is trying hard to be taken seriously, as it is still known as the platform that may turn you into a dog, or swap your face with Leonardo DiCaprio. Lenses have turned out to be very popular for Snapchat and their constant update creates a habit of trying out the new ones, again, for the sake of (useless) fun.However, this changed when brands joined the game of sponsored lenses, which made them more interesting from a business perspective.For example, Gatorade created a sponsored lens during Super Bowl and it led to 60 million plays in total, 165 million views and an increase of 8 points in purchase intent.
Facebook Pages have formed the idea of branded content in social media and they have been imitated by many platforms. It’s an organized way to distribute content by encouraging users to stay up-to-date with a brand’s news, while Facebook offers several tools to boost this experience.On the other hand, Snapchat wanted to revolutionize the idea of branded content, by encouraging a new format of visual content which focuses on the engagement with the user, ensuring that the reach is not missed through a customized feed that hides the content you’ve liked.This doesn’t mean that all brands are ready yet to experiment with Snapchat and this may be attributed to the lack of options regarding the distribution and the measurement of the content, which is certainly something that we’d love to see in the future.Both platforms have their advantages and their disadvantages when it comes to branded content, but Facebook is certainly a winner, mainly due to its established status, the flexibility and its insights.
This is probably the biggest battle between Facebook and Snapchat and it’s also the most interesting one. Both try hard to succeed in this field, as this may be the battle that will crown the ultimate winner.Video content is on the rise and it’s not expected to stop anytime soon, and both Facebook and Snapchat have their own advantages and disadvantages on its creation and distribution.What’s more, Facebook has launched the idea of Facebook 360 videos, in an attempt to succeed with another popular trend. Snapcat is definitely ambitious enough to compete with Facebook’s plans with video content, This sign of explosive growth cannot stay unnoticed and that’s why there is an attempt to keep up with its fast growth by offering more features and options for brands that join the platform.
Snapchat started as a fun platform of instant communication between teenagers and that’s how it became popular with its ephemeral content, its simplicity and its mysterious appeal.Facebook started as a platform that connected people all over the world, although the concept of communication changed over the years. The launch of Messenger was a great move for Facebook. That brought the best features of Facebook and it's apps into one platform. which now boasts over 1 billion users.Both Snapchat and Facebook have benefited from their appealing instant communication in their own way, the first by creating a strong engagement rate which helped it grow, the second by expanding its features to interesting paths that we keep exploring.
Instant communication in terms of business opportunities is already changing on Facebook Messenger with the introduction of chatbots, the pre-programmed messages that allow users to stay informed from their favorite brands and pages regarding a new release, a sale, or an event.This could be the big step for Messenger in e-commerce and further business opportunities, and as there are more than 11,000 bots in Messenger, we are expecting great things from this feature.
This is an unfair battle, as Facebook is already established in advertising, offering numerous options for brands to promote their products. There has been a 50% increase in Facebook’s active advertisers in a year.Mobile advertising has turned out to be extremely effective, as it accounted for 79% of the company’s revenue of Q1 2016.From a brand’s perspective, Facebook’s advertising tools can help an ad reach the right audience, while the introduction of Canvas led to more creative formats that may be more appealing to users.On the other hand, Snapchat is yet at an early stage of its advertising growth, but early reports from Snapchat on it's ROI is very impressive. It has noted that its Snap Ads have a 5x higher CTR compared to other platforms.
The fact that Snapchat managed to become a serious competitor for Facebook in certain areas in just a couple of years is an indication that we cannot ignore its potential, as its growth is expected to continue. Snapchat is expected to surpass Twitter and Pinterest in users this year, reaching 58.6 million users with a growth of 27.2%, while it will keep building its audience until 2020 to further close its gaps with Facebook.Even if it’s not enough to ever beat Facebook, it is still impressive to monitor its success to go up against Facebook.
Roy has over 30 years experience in the broadcasting and marketing fields. He carries strong credentials in mass media, social media, advertising, marketing, public relations, and video production. Mr. Garton is also a professional actor and voice-over talent.
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