Data Shows Snapchat’s Struggle with User Acquisition

 In Behavioral Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Consumer Behavior, Featured, Market Trends, Social Marketing

Snap’s first-ever earnings report on May 10 disappointed investors as well as the media, reporting major losses that led to a decrease in share price after hours. Now a public company, Snap will continue to field comparisons to Facebook-owned competitor Instagram, who launched a copycat feature called Instagram Stories last August.

We’ve been analyzing global user registrations across Snapchat and Instagram over the past year through email signups to understand whether the companies are seeing user growth.

Here’s what we learned:

User acquisition across platforms was flat.
Monthly signups to both platforms remained flat so far this year, and signups were down 21 percent overall since January 2016.

Instagram Stories gained traction with users.
Instagram, however, saw an uptick in February 2017 and grew to 26 percent market share. This coincides with Snap’s IPO. In data we shared with TechCrunch, we noted that Instagram’s Stories launch didn’t have much impact on Snapchat at first, but as users began to use Instagram Stories more frequently towards the end of 2016, Snapchat’s market share shrank from 76 percent to 64 percent.

Snapchat is struggling to add new users.
Snapchat’s peak market share historically was in September 2017, where they saw 78 percent of new user signups. Since then, their market share decreased — we noted the largest decrease was over the holidays (between December 2016 and January 2017), when signups to Snapchat dropped 5 percent.

share of new subscriptions

Bottom Line: Yesterday’s disappointing Snap earnings came as no surprise given Snapchat’s stagnant user growth and the stickiness of Instagram Stories. We’ll continue to watch the battle for users between Snap and Instagram, who continue to copy each other’s features. Now that Instagram Stories has taken off, will Snapchat become a redundant app?

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