Instagram is now the most used social media app among teens in the US, topping Snapchat that used to be quite popular among this demographic, according to a recent study.
A total of 8,600 teenagers were surveyed for investment bank Piper Jaffray’s twice-annual look at so-called Generation Z’s habits.
And what were the rankings?
- Instagram: 85 % teen users recorded
- Snapchat: 84% of teen users recorded
But rankings were reversed when the teens were asked which they preferred.
Snapchat was picked as the ‘favourite social platform’ by 46% of those questioned, while Instagram was chosen by 32%.
Snapchat recently lost users because of the redesign of the app. For the first time, the number of active users on the app dropped and this new study may be pointing to the reel from that miscalculation.
On 11 October, its shares hit an all-time-low after one analyst claimed the firm was “running out of money”.
The engagement narrative seems to promote the idea that Snapchat is on the decline, even though the app remains the favourite among its young user base.
Snapchat’s latest features include the ability to carry out Amazon searches by pointing a phone’s camera at nearby objects
By contrast, Instagram is flush with cash thanks to its popularity with marketers.
‘Instagram continues to show dominance in selling, as teens overwhelmingly prefer brands contact them on Instagram versus other channels,’ said Piper Jaffray in its report.
When Instagram added the ‘stories feature,’ originally a Snapchat innovation, it picked up in popularity among teenagers.
But according to Instagram’s own figures, more than 400 million people use its version each day, which is more than double the number of people Snapchat says log into its service to carry out any activity over the same period.
Instagram added its Stories slideshows in 2016
‘Instagram will add just more than 12 million new users [in the US] this year, which is more than double any other social network,’ commented Rimma Kats from the consultancy eMarketer in a report earlier this week.
‘And while Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram all have a ‘Stories’ feature, it’s Instagram Stories that will be especially successful in capturing new sign-ups.’
Piper Jaffray’s report follows a similar but smaller survey by the Pew Research Center earlier in the year.
Of the 750 US teens it questioned in April, 72% said they used Instagram compared with 69% who said they used Snapchat.
In the UK, the media regulator Ofcom publishes two studies – one that covers the 16-to-24s and the other that looks at 12-to-15s.
Its latest figures for both age groups suggest Snapchat still has a slight edge over Instagram when it comes to usage, but the watchdog is due to update its figures for the younger demographic in about a month’s time.