Snapchat emerges as the number 3 social media app

The Internet is fueled by yoof, or “millennials” as the Americans like to call them. Researchers are constantly sifting through the entrails of their digital behaviour, trying to determine what they can tell us about the future.

So what to make of the news that among the 18-34 year old cohort, Snapchat is now the number three social media app behind Facebook and Instagram?

Well, the first thing it tells us is that Mark Zuckerberg — who owns the two most popular apps — knows more about his audience than most of the people offering him unsolicited advice about what to do next. Zuckerberg, you might remember, wanted to buy Snapchat last year for a cool $US3 billion — three times more than he paid for Instagram but still a hefty discount on the price he copped for WhatsApp.

Latest reports put the valuation of Snapchat as high as $US10 billion, but that is still just a fraction of the combined worth of the three biggest social networks by market cap — Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which have a aggregated value of a quarter of a trillion dollars.

What we don’t know from the latest comScore data (which is where the ranking comes from) is whether people are using the app and how frequently — nor whether Snapchat’s notoriety (think “selfies my kids don’t want me to see”) and curiosity simply got the better of them.

That’s a point business intelligence service Statista makes in its report on the data.

You will find more statistics at Statista.

Twitter and Google+ fill out the top five, with Pinterest, Vine and Tumblr also rating well.

In its commentary on the data, comScore writes “At this reach threshold, Snapchat has likely established a certain degree of staying power within this demographic segment that gives it some runway to evolve beyond its core value proposition.

According to comScore, “What makes many social media companies so valuable is the power of the network effect to deliver highly engaged audiences at scale, which translates into the opportunity to monetise through high volumes of ads and other high-margin products.

comScore makes the point, however, that while the the network effect can be very powerful it is also very difficult to achieve. “… which is perhaps why many considered Snapchat a risky proposition a few months ago. Is it possible that the Snapchat founders already knew what the rest of the market didn’t: that the network had already reached important critical mass thresholds that predicted even greater expansion of its audience?

We also learn something else from the list. Six of the top eight apps are primarily visual platforms — designed for sharing photos and videos. A picture still paints a thousand words. Happily, some things never change.

Previous post

Sizmek rejigs management team

Next post

Accenture buys Cloud Sherpas