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Report shows Snapchat’s newer features falling flat but messaging more popular than ever
Data points to challenges in getting users to engage beyond Snapping.
Snapchat rose to popularity thanks to the secretive nature of its photo messaging, and it has kept that theme constant when providing usage details of the app. However, The Daily Beast has uncovered recent app stats not shared publicly before. They show that some newer initiatives haven’t taken off as Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, had hoped.
The data provided to The Daily Beast spans from April to late September 2017 and includes usage metrics for Snap Maps, Discover, Memories, Geofilters, Lenses, Chat, Audio and Stories. Snap has kept these usage numbers close to the vest, only reporting on more generalized Daily Average Users (DAUs) in its earnings reports.
This summer, Snapchat launched Snap Maps, which allows users to follow and report Stories by location, find friends and more. The numbers show a steep drop and a gradual decline heading into the fall. The usage of Snap Maps peaked at 35 million unique daily users in June and dropped roughly 40 percent by September.
Yet, while Snap Maps may not be a hit the number daily Snaps sent by users has climbed steadily, as users primarily gravitate to Snapchat as a direct messaging platform. In mid-September, as many as 87 million daily unique users were sending Snaps. The chart below shows a 10 percent increase in Snaps sent since June (roughly 79.5 million daily unique users).
Snapchat may have pioneered Stories, but users are primarily still “Snapping”. The report highlights that Snap’s strength lies in the messaging sector, “In August, users were 64 percent more likely to send a snap to a friend than post to Stories and sent an average of 34 chat messages per day.”
Other information in the report shows minimal growth across the Discover platform, a feature that investors are keeping a close eye on. A new Snapchat design is looming with plans to split Discover from of the friends feed. A drop in Discover usage could hurt ad exposure and therefore ad revenue for Snap. Overall, fewer than 21 percent of Snapchat daily users view Discover content, with its usage peaking on July 24, according to the data provided to Daily Beast.
Snap may be hoping that the inclusion of featured stories by verified account holders, such as celebrities, in the new version of the Discover tab and a new algorithm designed to surface content likely to pique user interest will help lure more eyeballs in that direction.
For more (and very interesting comments on the secrecy of the company), see the full article on The Daily Beast.