Snapchat Overtakes Twitter in Daily User Count Digital Marketing News


Troubled social media platform Twitter has been surpassed in daily usage by its younger, image-led competitor Snapchat, according to a report from AdvertisingAge.

The report quotes an anonymous source (“people familiar with the matter”) as saying Snapchat’s user count has climbed to over 150 million per day. That’s significantly higher than the latest expert projections of Twitter usage, which peg the user count for the 140-character messaging service at approximately 136 million accounts per day.

Snapchat’s not the only name to push Twitter down the app store rankings in recent times, with Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp already streaking ahead of the erstwhile second power of digital messaging.

Two camps emerging in social media?

Shareholders won’t be happy with Twitter falling behind the relative newcomer Snapchat, and some will surely feel concerned that recent tweaks to Twitter functionalities have not gone far enough to attract the burgeoning growth they desire.

Of all Twitter’s recent updates, perhaps the most interesting is the new policy of excluding link characters from Tweet word counts, which increases the amount of characters users have to play with when creating posts that feature a link or image. The change may be relatively minor, but it will make life slightly easier for digital marketers, whose Tweet copy will have a little more breathing room thanks to the new guarantee of a 140 character upper limit. This update clearly removes a potential obstacle to rich posts – but will that be enough to woo users and marketers?

We seem to be moving gradually towards a new era in social media marketing, one in which two separate camps are taking clearer shape. On the one hand are platforms whose marketing clients tend to prosper by combining rich media with copy in their posts – like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. At the other end of the spectrum, image-led Snapchat keeps copy down to a bare minimum, whilst versatile Instagram caters well for either.

Target Internet CEO Daniel Rowles had this to say: “We have evidence that Twitter use has fallen off a cliff in the youth market, with adoption only picking up in the 24+ age group. My feeling is that Twitter needs to focus on its current users and may have reached its maximum audience potential. However that won’t be acceptable for shareholders and their cost base exceeds their income. Cutting costs and accepting your limits is almost impossible for a company with Twitter’s level of funding. Without radical innovation it’s hard to see a way forward, but anything too radical will upset core users. I should also say Twitter is still my favourite social platform, and it has so many unique qualities that it really can’t be beaten on many fronts, like realtors me reaction and 2nd screen commentary.”

Action it!

There’s still a lot to gain from using Twitter – 136 million daily users is hardly small fry ,and the avian social messenger remains one of the best tools for certain modes of communication, as Daniel Rowles notes above.

But perhaps it is time to reconsider Twitter’s strategic role. For years Twitter had been #2 behind Facebook, and it still so often bears the corresponding level of priority in SME social marketing plans as a result. Talk to a small business owner and if they’re using just one other social platform apart from Facebook, it’s probably Twitter. That’s not necessarily the smartest bet.

The best way to decide which social media to add to your marketing plan is to consider two key factors: demographic compatibility, and the resources required of your company. Loosely speaking, Snapchat is best suited for marketing to teenagers (currently), LinkedIn is great for marketing B2B services, and Instagram is the ideal social medium for marketing stylized products to sub-culture vultures. Learn each app on your shortlist, find out which sections of society are using each one, and evaluate those findings against your customer base.

The key resource burden associated with taking on ‘new’ social media platforms is allotting time for staff members to learn the ropes and master the skills involved in using the platform. Image-led platforms like Instagram and Snapchat also demand a reasonable level of competency in photography, photo editing and, at times, graphic design.

Your choice of social media platform(s) should also go hand-in-hand with the nature of your business. For example, if your work is not especially visually engaging, an image-led platform might not be suitable.

If you decide to ‘migrate’ some of your planned content from Twitter to another platform, we would suggest Facebook as the most analogous fit. You’ll probably need to include some rich media if you haven’t already.

Though Twitter is struggling somewhat of late, we would urge you not to write it off just yet. At this stage we would simply suggest exploring the other options available to you, and making an action for transferring your social marketing activities to another platform, just in case the little blue bird ends up fluttering off the radar.

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