Facebook versus Snapchat

Is Imitation Really The Sincerest Form of Flattery? Facebook versus Snapchat

I have a love/hate relationship with the Facebook app on my mobile phone. I often delete/download every few days as it’s a great source of distraction for me. It’s an oxymoron, being a social marketer but there you go.

I noticed something this morning – Facebook is imitating one of the features Snapchat has – disappearing posts. Snapchat’s pioneering features are quickly repurposed in Instagram as they introduced ‘Live Video’ and disappearing messages after 24hrs recently and are we really surprised that Facebook is doing the same thing too? Don’t forget Whatsapp and their ‘Status’ feature.

As reported on eMarketer, Facebook is taking the rising threat from Snapchat seriously. It’s reported that “a March 2017 survey conducted by LendEdu found that more than half of college students in the US said they checked their Snapchat notifications first, compared with 27% who checked Instagram first and 13% who said the same of Facebook.” – eMarketer emarketer-facebook-versus-snapchat

While these are predominantly US-centric numbers, I have a good feeling this phenomenon translate on a global platform too.

The data provided by the joint efforts of WeAreSocial and Hootsuite below shows the distribution of Facebook users to be the highest and rising between 16-26.


Here’s the list of platform and number of MAU on key global platforms.

active MAU of global social platforms

Ignore Facebook-related social platforms (Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram) and China’s social platform, the competition that is closest to Facebook are Twitter and Snapchat, with the full capability to revolutionise themselves once they have had enough of the internet giant.

Snapchat does not publish its numbers publicly but ask any millennial on the street, chances are, they utilise and peruse both Snapchat AND Facebook.

Attracting and sustaining a younger audience is key for Facebook’s future. Sustaining the time spend on the platform must be on one of Zuckerberg’s list as sources from a variety of data suggests that Facebook is losing its appeal with the young.

On a local level, this means I just have one more platform to repurpose my content and show my content to. It bodes well for brands and clients who can maximise the brand’s potential across all the platforms.

As for now, I will keep an eye on the penetration and see Snapchat’s next move. I wonder what they have up their sleeves.

About the author

Female founder of Socially Amplified, a marketing consultancy. We work with businesses who want to build a business and help equip, empower and inspire back-to-work mothers. When I am not online, I like spending time with my little girl and being silly with her. I firmly believe in women empowerment and advancement and mothers in leadership roles. I am on Twitter as @foliobylisa

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