How and Why People Use Different Social Apps – Research By Snapchat

Why do you open a social app? Is it to stay connected with friends and family, to check how many likes your latest post got? Maybe you’re looking for news content?

There’s a range of different ways people use each app. In order to glean more insight into why, specifically, users open certain social tools, Snapchat recently partnered with Murphy Research to conduct a study of more than 1,000 app users, aged between 13 and 44, to learn more about the apps they use, when they spend time on each, and how each makes them feel.

Here’s an overview of their findings.

Snapchat Makes Users Feel Happy

As per the report:

“In a world of apps that can make people feel anxious, isolated, or self-conscious, Snapchat is fundamentally the “feel-good” app. 95% of Snapchatters say the app makes them feel happy, more than any other app tested. Users also report feeling playful and silly while using it – likely because it’s a place where you can be yourself, stay close with good friends, and share your day-to-day.”

It seems like a bit of jab at Facebook, which published a report in late 2017 which found that ‘passive’ social media consumption can lead to negative mental health impacts. Snapchat, according to this report at least, generally provokes the opposite user response – there’s a range of potential reasons for this, as Snapchat notes, but the private, immersive nature of the app does lend itself to more active consumption as well.

But there is also a negative element in there, at least in terms of Snap’s business ambitions. As reiterated in this second element of the report, which looks at the reasons why people turn to each social app, Snapchat is primarily used for staying connected with friends, not for business or product discovery.

As you can see, every other social app has at least some element of business connection – even Facebook has ‘Learn about events’ as a key reason why people use it. Snapchat’s use-case is all about staying connected with close groups, which is the functionality the app was built upon, but it may indicate that there’s less business opportunity on the app.

Of course, it’s well documented that Snapchat requires a solid understanding of the platform and audience in order to succeed with promotions on the app – you can’t just go in and place a generic ad and hope for the best. But the above findings further underline the need for prospective advertisers to have a keen understanding of why people come to the app, and therefore, how they can reach those users without being overly interruptive.

Snapchat is Utilized More in Social Situations

As per the report:

“Murphy Research’s findings also revealed that people use different apps depending on what they’re up to. Snapchat, followed by Twitter, are the apps most used while on-the-go, commuting, socializing, and shopping. However, when users are idle, they’re more likely to be on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.”

The research also suggests that Snapchat’s more commonly used when socializing – and importantly for marketing purposes, when shopping.

That could provide important opportunities for brand outreach – again, as highlighted in the first section, Snap advertising takes a dedicated, specific focus, but used well, it can be a great platform for targeted marketing.

The most obvious example here would be using Snapchat for limited time offers, geo-targeted to reach people shopping around your store/s. Snapchat has targeting options like ‘Radius Targeting’ and ‘Location Categories’ for this purpose – Location Categories enable brands to select certain locations  within a chosen region, in order to serve them more relevant ads.

Given Snap users are more likely to be active when shopping and/or at social events, such targeting could be a relevant consideration for your Snap promotions.

Snap users are looking to connect with close friends through the app, and are more likely to be using it within social situations. These are important considerations for marketers looking to reach young consumers with Snap ads – take these into account when assessing your potential opportunities within the app.

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