Snapchat: Why Do We Share?

Snapchat was founded in 2011, and its popularity soon skyrocketed, making it one of the hottest new social media networks on the block. Ten years later, it remains one of the most popular social networks, with 293 million daily active users as of the second quarter of 2021 with an average of 30 app opens per day. Built on the idea of sharing photos and information that disappears – eliminating the stress of interacting online because “the internet is forever” – its unique take on social media had widespread appeal. But what types of things do users share on Snapchat, and what are their motivations for sharing? Let’s take a look at some data related to why people share on Snapchat.

Who Uses Snapchat?

Friends taking selfie for Snapchat while traveling

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

More than 75% of people between the ages of 13 and 34 and 90% of people between the ages of 13 and 24 in the U.S. use Snapchat as of October 2021. According to Pew Research, 25% of U.S. adults across all age demographics say they’ve used Snapchat, and usage skews heavily to the younger age demographics. Sixty-five percent (65%) of those between ages 18 and 29 and 75% of those between ages 18 and 24 say they’ve used the platform, compared to 2% of those age 65 and older. Statista reports that 54% of Snapchat users identify as female, while 41.9% identify as male as of July 2021.

Among U.S. adults who report that they use Snapchat, 59% use it daily, 21% use it weekly, and 19% use it less frequently, according to Pew Research. More than 105 million Snapchat users are in the U.S., with India following in second with 99.8 million users. The number of users in other countries rounding out the top 10 include:

  • France: 23.4 million
  • United Kingdom: 19.8 million
  • Saudi Arabia: 19.1 million
  • Mexico: 17.65 million
  • Pakistan: 14.8 million
  • Germany: 14.45 million
  • Iraq: 12.15 million
  • Egypt: 12.05 million

What Do We Share on Snapchat?

Couple taking a selfie for Snapchat by the water

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Given that Snapchat focuses largely on sharing photos and videos, it should come as no surprise that Snapchat users are 150% more likely than those who don’t use Snapchat to communicate with pictures instead of words. According to Snapchat, the top five ways Snapchatters communicate without using words include:

  1. Photos (81%)
  2. Emojis and Emoticons (76%)
  3. Videos and Video Messages (61%)
  4. Video Calls (60%)
  5. Memes (56%)

Wallaroo Media reports that more than 5 billion Snaps are created every day, and there are around 18 billion video views by Snapchatters each day.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on Snapchat usage, with Snaps sent between friends, engagement in Group Chats, and Snaps sent to Group Chats reaching all-time highs. The time users spent calling on Snapchat grew by 50% from late February to late March 2020. Snapchatters spent 25% more time playing with Lenses in late March compared to late February 2020, and engagement in Snap Games – and the use of in-game social features like Voice and Chat – significantly increased as well.

Engagement with several interest categories grew during this period as well, including:

  • Crafts and Hobbies
  • House and Home
  • News and Media
  • Streaming and Gaming
  • Mental and Physical Well-Being
  • Education
  • Food Delivery, Grocery, and Beverages
  • Mobile Payments and Banking
  • Athleisure
  • Fast Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Kids Activities and Parenting Info

Why Do People Use Snapchat?

There are plenty of reasons to use Snapchat, but what are the most common reasons users open their Snapchat app – and what do they do when they get there? Here are a few of the most popular ways users make use of Snapchat.

It Makes Users Feel Happy

Friends using Snapchat

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

In 2018, Snapchat partnered with Murphy Research to conduct a study of more than 1,000 app users between the ages of 13 and 44 to learn about the apps they use, when they use them, and how those apps make them feel. More than nine out of ten Snapchat users (95%) said that Snapchat makes them feel happy – more than any other app tested. The top three attributes that study participants associated with Snapchat were silly, creative, and attractive.

Having Conversations with Close Friends

The Murphy Research study also investigated why study participants use each social media network. Participants reported that they use Snapchat to have conversations with close friends, which was also the top use case for Facebook. Participants said they use Twitter primarily for news and current events, YouTube for learning more about topics they’re interested in, and Instagram for sharing photos.

Playing Games

More than 30 million Snapchatters play Games on the platform each month, on average. Games provide a fun and entertaining way to engage with your friends on the platform, even when you’re not in the same room. Users can invite friends or groups to play a game and communicate via voice or text in the in-game chat.

Experimenting with Filters and Lenses

Playing with filters and augmented-reality animations known as lenses was also a top response among study participants when asked about how they spend their time on each social network. Filters and lenses are wildly popular features that are fun to use and share, adding special effects and sounds to Snaps or overlays and geofilters to photos and videos that they then share with friends, groups, or in their Story.

Another cool thing about lenses is that users can create their own custom lenses using Snapchat’s Lens Studio, which has been used by more than 200,000 lens creators who have created more than 200 million lenses to date.  

According to Snapchat as of October 2021, more than 200 million daily active users engage with the app’s augmented reality features daily, including more than 170 million who use Snapchat Scan at least once each month. Scan is an AR feature that provides a number of engaging experiences for users who scan items or surroundings with their Snapchat camera. For instance, users can scan products to search for the item on Amazon, scan their surroundings to discover relevant lenses, scan articles of clothing to discover similar products, and scan things like plants, cars, wine, and dogs to learn more about them. Users can even scan math problems to find the answers.

To understand the impact of these innovative features, consider that Snapchat users are three times more likely than non-users to say they’re using AR more this year compared to last year to try on products. The Snapchat generation represents a new type of consumer that demands interactive, cutting-edge experiences.

Sharing On the Go

Friends sharing on Snapchat at a coffee shop

Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

Murphy Research also found that users are most likely to use Snapchat when they’re on the go, such as shopping, hanging out with friends, or attending social events. More specifically:

  • 32% of respondents said they use Snapchat when they’re “on the go.”
  • 29% of respondents reported using Snapchat while commuting.
  • 24% of respondents said they use Snapchat when traveling.
  • 34% say they use Snapchat when they’re hanging out with friends.
  • 19% of respondents use Snapchat while shopping.
  • 14% of respondents reported using Snapchat at social events.

According to Social Pilot:

  • 80% of users use Snapchat at restaurants.
  • 66% of users use Snapchat while shopping.
  • 50% of Snapchatters use Snapchat at the gym.

Murphy Research found that Snapchat is the second most popular app for respondents when waiting (35%), second to Facebook (39%). Interestingly, it’s not among the most-used apps when users are at home, with 66% of respondents reporting that they use the social app while at home, coming in behind Facebook (76%), YouTube (72%), and Instagram (68%) but edging out Twitter (63%). Respondents reported turning to the same apps most often when they can’t sleep:

  • 42% say they use Facebook when they can’t sleep.
  • 37% of respondents turn to Instagram when they’re unable to fall asleep.
  • 31% of participants use YouTube when they can’t sleep.
  • 29% of respondents use Snapchat when they’re unable to sleep.
  • 28% turn to the Twitter app when struggling to fall asleep.

Discovering Places

Speaking of using Snapchat on the go, Snap Map is another popular feature that’s used by more than 250 million Snapchatters each month. Snap Map is a way for users to find people and places as well as stories posted by the community. There are more than 30 million businesses listed on Snap Map, providing endless opportunities for Snapchatters to explore the world around them.

With plenty of reasons to use Snapchat and tons of interactive content to engage with, it’s no surprise that Snapchat remains a major player among social media networks, particularly among the younger age demographics. Looking to grow your Snapchat audience and tap into all that buying power? Install ShareThis’ Snapchat share button on your blog or website. It’s easy to install (in just minutes!) and free to use, helping you grow your Snapchat audience by enabling visitors to share your content or products on Snapchat with just one click.

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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