What We Think


The Social Media War between Snapchat and Facebook: What it Means for Marketers

Snap, parent of Snapchat, has a problem—a big one—and it’s Facebook.

Ever since Facebook tried to buy Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion dollars and was spurned, Facebook has been trying to reinvent Snapchat-like features through Instagram, owned by Facebook, and through its main Facebook app. Facebook is not hiding the fact that they are holding a grudge. In the past few weeks, Facebook has added several features similar to Snapchat such as a camera with filters and editing tools right in the mobile app, a button to video feeds, not to mention the “live” video feature.

Investors and Wall Street analysts seem to think that Snapchat has plenty of room to grow, probably one reason for the fairly good start of their IPO in March. So, if you’re a business, how do you decide where to allocate time and social media resources amid these changes?

Here’s the lowdown:

Facebook*1,230 million1,860 million25-34
Instagram**240 million500 million25-34
Snapchat**158 million300 million18-24

*Zephoria  **CSD

Note: Statistics vary slightly in timing and according to the source. This is meant for general comparison only.

A wait-and-see approach might be best at this point. Facebook has the potential to preempt its users from switching to Snapchat if they were not Snapchat users before, and therefore, prevent new growth for Snapchat. Current Snapchat users, who are also Facebook users, may find value in having all of the fun stuff integrated into one app, especially if Facebook is better at developing those bells and whistles that seem to attract the under 24 age group, especially the under 17 group. They may drop Snapchat in lieu of Facebook, unless they still want a platform that is mostly free from parents’ watchful eyes. However, Facebook is likely to win on sheer numbers and global reach.

Ultimately, the social media platforms you choose will be driven by your product, target market, overall brand and marketing strategy. If you are clearly aiming for the younger set, Snapchat may be worth the effort. One thing is for sure, it will all be different next week. In the meantime, we can look forward to more interesting developments between the two companies. Stay tuned, this war is far from over.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Digg thisShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr