Unicorn Battle: Analyzing Instagram vs. Snapchat growth

 In Behavioral Analysis, Case Studies, Competitive Analysis, Consumer Behavior, conversion trends, Featured, Growth, Popular, Site Analysis, Social Marketing, Tech News, Top 10, Trends

The social media popularity contest has ascended to unicorn status: Instagram or Snapchat? The number of Skyline-filtered #instafood posts and Face Swaps with grandma have dramatically increased over the past year, so we decided to compare these two platforms’ growth, looking into the amount of people (and not just millennials) they attract worldwide.

As Snapchat now boasts 150 million daily users, we were led to wonder, which one of the red-hot social platforms continues to grow? We analyzed four months of global user registrations for the two apps, and found that Snapchat won the growth game, as it brought in 25 percent more sign-ups than Instagram this year. We also found that Snapchat’s Face Swap feature has fueled the image messaging app’s growth among all cohorts. Read on for our detailed findings regarding the growth of the two leading photo sharing apps.

Breakdown by country

We analyzed new user registrations to Snapchat and Instagram between January 1st and April 30th, 2016 to detect global and regional growth trends, and to better understand the user profiles of these competing popular apps. After discovering that Snapchat outperforms Instagram globally, we set out to investigate the two platform growth rates and market shares by country.

Our analysis revealed that this year Snapchat’s new member sign-ups in the U.S. was nearly double that of Instagram. In contrast, Instagram dominated 94 percent of sign-ups in Russia. Scroll down to see what else we found in this Snapchat vs. Instagram breakdown.

Top ten countries for Snapchat and Instagram growth, along with app market share:

Instagram Snapchat
# Country Market share # Country Market share
1 United States 35% 1 United States 65%
2 Brazil 33% 2 Brazil 67%
3 Russia 94% 3 France 76%
4 Indonesia 72% 4 Germany 64%
5 Germany 36% 5 United Kingdom 63%
6 Turkey 49% 6 Saudi Arabia 73%
7 France 24% 7 Turkey 51%
8 United Kingdom 37% 8 Mexico 63%
9 India 58% 9 Poland 67%
10 Italy 47% 10 Italy 53%

The U.S. and Brazil took the top two spots for both lists, however the other countries weren’t necessarily concentrated in one central region. Instagram dominates new registrations in Russia (94 percent), Indonesia (72 percent) and India (58 percent), while Snapchat has the largest market share in France (76 percent), Saudi Arabia (73 percent) and Poland (67 percent)

When your parents join Snapchat…

We took a deeper look at the U.S. and U.K. data, to get a snapshot of who is signing up for each app. Unsurprisingly, Snapchat attracted more millennial sign-ups than Instagram, outperforming the later by 39 percent in the U.S and 15 percent in the U.K. Most surprising is that following Snapchat’s Face Swap feature, the app began to dominate growth among older generations as well. In April, both services had an equal, 50/50 market share among the older generations in the UK, which is way up from the beginning of the year when market share for this cohort’s growth was split nearly 70/30 to Instagram’s advantage.

Snapchat and Instagram new non-millennial users 2016

Bottom line: Snapchat is challenging Instagram head-on, and it’s not only doing so with the help of millennials, but older generations as well. Instagram may still be the preferred image app for mom, dad and even grandma, but the allure of swapping faces has helped push Snapchat to dominate the non-millennial market as well. The diversity of countries driving the services growth and the expanding demographics also indicate that social apps aren’t just for the young.

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