Since its launch in 2011, 200 million of Snapchat’s monthly members have been sharing their 10 second selfies with the world.
Snapchat is well-known for its popularity with the younger generation – 71% of members are under 25.
However, their latest marketing techniques in America suggest they’re now targeting an older market; signifying a potential opportunity for brands on Snapchat. Mysterious billboards have appeared in major US cities, featuring the yellow ghost logo and nothing more. Snapchat’s explanation for this is equally vague: for “fun and awareness”.
Intrigue has certainly been created, with increased Google searches for ‘yellow ghost billboard’.
The statistics show that whilst the overwhelming majority of Snapchat users are under 25, it’s growing in popularity with the older generation. In 2015, 25-34 year old users grew by 103%, and 35+ users by 84%. Compare this to the 56% increase amongst 18-24 year olds. It’s fair to say Snapchat is having a bit of a moment with an older audience.
The rise of the more mature user is easily explainable: to stay in touch with younger family members. The 8,796 photos shared every second, and 6 billion videos viewed every day on the app won’t all make it onto Facebook. It’s Snapchat that allows users to see what family and friends are doing throughout the day.
Snapchat hasn’t commented on whether it’s deliberately targeting the older generations. However, the Discover section – featuring CNN and the White House – has a broader appeal that isn’t limited to just the under 25s.
So what does this mean from a marketing point of view? Potential opportunities. Older users have a higher disposable income. However, if your brand is successfully engaging with the under 25s, opening appeal to a broader age range can be problematic. Another possible issue is following in the footsteps of Facebook: a continuing rise of older users could result in the younger generation searching for something new.
But let’s not get carried away. To reiterate: 71% of Snapchat users are under 25, and the app hasn’t confirmed or denied their marketing tactics. If what you’re doing as a brand on Snapchat works, don’t change it. You wouldn’t want to lose the interest of the younger market whilst attempting to capture the attention of older users, especially when their presence on Snapchat is minimal.
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