As more middle-aged adults use Snapchat, it's becoming less cool for teens.
According to a comScore report, there's a rise in adult users of Snapchat. Three years ago, only 5% of mobile users between the ages of 25-34 were using Snapchat, and 2% over 35. Now, the numbers are 38% and 14%, respectively. The 18-24 demographic rose from 24% to 69% over the same period.
Why are adults gravitating towards Snapchat? It's minimalistic and easy to use, as well as the introduction of "stories," which allows users to place snaps on a timeline for their friends. Creative and fun "lenses" allow users to transform photos with sticker-like filters that can switch faces or add dog ears to selfies, reports Taylor Soper of Geek Wire. Others, however, are using it to market, according to Tamar Weinberg of Marketing Land, one 60-year-old woman is using it to market her blog.
Author C.C. Chapman said:
My kids shook their heads when I started using it. What drove them nuts was when their friends started following me.
However, some parents are using it as a way to actively engage with their kids and have fun. In a Facebook comment, Lifestyle blogger Sugar Jones said:
There was disgust at first, but now we spam each other for fun. [My children will] send me like 20 crazy pics in a row and I'll respond in kind with lame filtered pics. We were literally rolling on the floor laughing the other day. I now love Snapchat.
Unlike Facebook's fall from grace among teenagers after parents started using the site, they seem to be sticking with Snapchat. According to Curtis Silver of Forbes, this may be because Snapchat offers a clean slate without many ads and also doesn't save the pictures you snap with the app.
Also, it doesn't give parents the same ability to monitor their children that Facebook does, which may account for the switch. With Facebook, parents can find out the location of their children, who they're with, and what they're doing based on posts by their children or their child's friends. On Snapchat, however, parents would only receive the individual snaps that their teenagers sent them, allowing them to effectively censor their snaps and show parents exactly what they want them to see.
Curtis Silver's son said:
Snapchat has a better overall user experience than Facebook. I'm on Snapchat 30 to 35 minutes every hour and I'm on Facebook only for five minutes max. You aren't bombarded with ads on Snapchat like you are on Facebook.
However, their lack of ads might change as Snapchat pushes towards a revenue goal of $300 million. Even though they are no longer cool among teenagers, Annlee Ellingson of LA Biz says that Facebook made $3.7 billion last year.