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Survey: Snap Still Wins With Teens, But Slips In 2018 As Twitter, Instagram Make Gains

Brett Hershman

Despite Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP)'s latest — and poorly received — platform update, it still reigns supreme amongst teens.

What Happened

According to Piper Jaffray’s latest Taking Stock With Teens semi-annual report, 83 percent of respondents indicated they used  Snapchat within the last month, the highest among its social media peers and slightly up from the 82-percent number in the previous survey.

“Teens are clearly engaged with Snapchat’s unique approach to social (narrow network, direct messaging), and we believe this provides near-term support to Snapchat daily active user growth,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Sam Kemp.

The analyst remains Neutral on Snap's stock given its extremely high crossover rate with Instagram’s user base, and its "inferior" ad product relative to Instagram and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB)'s holistic targeting abilities.

Why It's Important

Despite its inherent challenges, Snap has the benefit of being the preferred and most fun platform for teens, with 45 percent of respondents saying it was their favorite social media app, far ahead of Instagram at 26 percent.

Snap has further distanced itself from its biggest competitor, even as Instagram continued to add carbon copies of Snap features. In Piper Jaffray's spring 2016 survey, shortly before Instagram launched its feature Stories, the percentage of respondents who said Snap and Instagram were their favorite social media platforms came in at 24 percent and 23 percent respectively.

When asked which platform they used at least monthly, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) — a company that has consistently declined in this category since spring 2016 — finally saw an uptick, from 50 percent to 53 percent.

Snapchat continues to lead with teens, but its selling point of capturing a unique and hard-to-reach demographic falls flat given its extremely high crossover with Instagram’s users. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they use both Snapchat and Instagram. 

“Instagram and Snapchat have extremely high user overlap, but Instagram is a better channel for branding, has better ad units and stronger advertiser engagement,” Kemp said. “Moreover, we believe Snap’s organizational challenges present meaningful risk to future innovation.”

Infographic: Facebook and Twitter Are Old News to Young People | Statista

Find more infographics at Statista.

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