Snapchat no longer popular?

Can the photo-sharing app compete with Facebook?

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Will Snapchat be here one minute - and gone the other?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

When you take a photograph on Snapchat, it is here one minute - and gone the other.

Could the same be said about the photo-sharing app?

It has to compete against giants, such as Facebook, who are taking the best of their features, and using them for their own platforms.

The Claim

Business Insider argues that Snapchat is losing its popularity. It has lost millions of users, and celebrities - such as Kylie Jenner - have ditched the photo-sharing app.

There were mistakes made by Snapchat, but Facebook may have "ruined this quite-promising company". Firstly, it is difficult to compete against the social media giant, which has an abundance of resources. Facebook has got the biggest online ad business, alongside Google. It takes a lot of money and a bit of luck to challenge them both.

Secondly, after failing to buy Snapchat as they did with WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook has arguably copied the app's coolest features. They have put these on Instagram Stories, and it is now more popular than Snapchat stories.

They argue that Snapchat has always been about being cool, rather than useful: "Unless Snpachat can sort of really show users that it's useful as well as cool, it's going to be really tough to get people back on the app if they've left."

The Counterclaim

While Facebook has been blamed for Snapchat's loss of popularity, it still cannot compete with the photo-sharing app for teenage users.

Snapchat is still more popular than Facebook and Instagram among American teens (12 to 17-year-olds), Motley Fool reports.

Facebook is expected to have just 11.5 million US teens signed up in 2019, down from 12.1 million last year. If it continues at this rate, Facebook will have just 9.3 million US teens as users by 2022.

Whereas Snapchat's teen user base is set to swell to 16.4 million, beating the Facebook-owned Instagram (12.8 million) to this demographic.

The Facts

After two quarters of decline, the number of Snapchat users is now stabilising. Its parent company, Snap, said the platform had 186 million daily active users in the three months to December 31.

The number of users was forecast to fall, but it remains unchanged from the previous quarter. It also saw its revenue rise more than expected by 36 per cent to $389.8 million - bringing its yearly total to more than $1.1 billion.

The stabilisation ends a bad year for Snapchat. The Verge reports that it lost multiple top executives in 2018, including the head of finance, chief strategy officer, head of sales, and president of hardware.

The news was welcomed by investors with Snapchat seeing its stock rise by 27 per cent on Wednesday.

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