Here is how Snapchat can win the hearts of consumers from Instagram


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Ever since the launch of Instagram Stories back in August, Snapchat has been the one to suffer the most. It was reported that there is a 15 to 40% decrease on Snapchat Stories views and 43% of the users will delete the app if Instagram introduces filters. Below are some of the reasons why Snapchat is losing views and ways on what they can do to bounce back, gain more audience, and remain as the number one story-sharing platform.

Why is Snapchat losing?

Decline in Snapchat download since Instagram Stories launch
Source: Techcrunch. Decline in Snapchat download since Instagram Stories launch

There are several factors that give Instagram an advantage in this story-sharing battle. First, let’s compare the user mechanism on Instagram and Snapchat. There are more than 600 million monthly active users on Instagram compared to Snapchat’s 60 million. Also, the platform has more prominent features compared to Snapchat’s with its content-sharing features. This way, users have the possibility to become viral and be discovered by other important figures on Instagram.

Snapchat, on the other hand, have a much more complicated mechanism. To see someone’s story, you must add them first, either through their usernames or the scannable Snapchat code. If you don’t know someone’s username or their code, viewing their story is impossible. Instagram allows you to browse through one’s feed before you can decide if they’re worthy for a follow.

Next, the disposal of Snapchat’s Auto Advance plays. The update allows you to select which stories you want to see without any automatic playbacks. Snapchat claims the reason behind this update is because “we just want to see what our close friends or family are up to – not all of our friends – and Auto Advance prevented that.” Initially, this was a great update because the numbers of organic views can increase since users are not accidentally viewing a story due to the Auto Advance feature. However, unless you’re DJ Khaled or Kim Kardashian, not all your followers will want to view your stories every day. In fact, what was once a great idea turned into one of the reasons why Snapchat is going through a downfall. The update caused a 10% drop among their clients, stated marketing company, Mish Guru.

Lastly, Instagram is often used for business and promotional purposes. To be able to grow as an influencer or a company, users need to especially focus on online marketing. Influencers use Instagram to get endorsements and promote products to their followers. In a sense, they are able to reach a certain group of audience that they can’t find on Snapchat. Well-known figures, whether they’re A-list celebrities or social media influencers, already have an established fan base on Instagram with millions of followers each. Compared to posting stories on Snapchat, where they’re experiencing a 15 to 30% drop on views, Instagram provides a reach that Snapchat can’t give them. Instagram “plugs” into your existing Instagram account so you can see stories from people you already followed and vice versa.

What can Snapchat do?

How to market to millenials
Source: Commerx

To come out of this battle unscathed, there are a number of ways Snapchat can improve to maintain, and gain, audience. First and foremost, Snapchat’s priority should be on understanding their audience. Millennials and Generation Z makes up 30% of American Snapchat users and 45% of their total users goes under the 18-24 age range.

Maintaining customer loyalty from Millennials and Generation Z can be tough. Still, there are four ways Snapchat can cater to this demographic by creating more dialogue, establishing authenticity, increase philanthropic endeavors, and enhance user experience.

Generation Z are an innovative kind; they’re constantly looking for ways to interact and communicate with brands. In fact, 60% of millennials would be loyal to a brand if there is an easy way to communicate with the developers when they’ve encountered a problem. UGC, or User-Generated Content, can allow Snapchat Millennial users to control their own experience. They would want to be involved in the creation and improvement of the platform. In a way, UGC has been implemented on Snapchat for a while through the Geo-filter and Events feature. Users can create their own Geo-filters and submit snaps for the chance to be featured during a specific event (New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc). Yet, there are more things Snapchat can do to improve dialogue between them and the users.

Ly Pham
Content Marketing Lead for Vietnam market at iPrice Group with 4 years of experience in Marketing and Communication industry in SEA. My area of expertise across different fields: FMCG, Fashion and Lifestyle, IT with special skill-sets in: market research, strategic planning, public relation and content marketing.


  1. It’s not true that Snapchat has 60 million monthly active users. According to recent data, this mobile app attracts over 150 million users DAILY. Also, I don’t agree that Snapchat has complicated interface. It’s unique. Have you remembered that you had used Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at the first time? At beginning everything is difficult.

    Fortunately, Snapchat isn’t Gen Y/ Gen Z-oriented mobile app. Its audience is becoming older. According to predictions by UBS analysts, Snapchat will grow dynamically 35+ age demographic.

  2. Hi Ly,

    interesting thoughts. However, I’d think that understanding their clientele is not enough – Facebook does this very well, too. The key to Snapchat’s (or Snap’s, as it is called now) continued survival is their ability to deliver a service that cannot be easily copied by Instagram, Whatsapp, Google’s and Apple’s messenger applications.

    2 ct from Down Under

  3. Hi Marcin,

    Thank you very much for your feedback on the number of users. Agree with your total number of 150 million. 60 million is the number of Snapchat users in US and Canada only. I did not make it clear on the article though.

    Snapchat has a more complicated interface as compared to Instagram. One of the reason like you said: because the new users do not familiar with it. Same with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The problem is at the time these social networks was introduced, their was no such unique competitors they have to deal with. They can grow to the point they can recruit a certain amount of loyal users. Snapchat born in the age of Facebook and Instagram, it needs to act fast.

    In the end, in a survival zone, it’s not about recruiting as many users/demographics as you can but about sustaining loyal users. More and more brands try to reach to tween, teen and Millennial because one u success in turning them into loyal customers, you can build relationship with them for life. Anyway, I am looking forward to learn how Snapchat can reach to a much older demographic.

  4. True, Ly. But what you are basically saying with this is that Snap is doomed 😉

    Things can get copied but as a company you need to be able to differentiate yourself enough that people engage into a ‘relationship’ (sorry, this is a very poor word for what goes on between people and companies) which stays sticky. Snap currently does not seem to be sticky – it is rather a Twitter than a Facebook. What, in concrete terms, would you suggest them doing?



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