Snap may finally have a good answer to the Facebook question
If there’s one question that just won’t go away for Snapchat parent company Snap Inc., it’s what to do about Facebook.
For months, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has been relentless pushing into Snapchat territory, first by copying Snapchat Stories in every major Facebook app and then by announcing plans for a sweeping augmented reality platform.
While Snap has so far refrained from publicly commenting on the mounting challenge (Evan Spiegel reportedly told employees “focus” is the most important issue facing the company) they now have a convenient new answer at the ready: Facebook may have more users, but our users are a lot more engaged.
It’s not a new refrain for the company, which has long argued their audience is unique compared with other social platforms, but they now have a bit of new data to back it up.
A new report out today from App Annie, based on usage during the final quarter of 2016, found that 35 percent of Snapchat’s daily users in the U.S don’t use Facebook “on any given” day. In other words: a decent chunk of Snapchat’s daily active users in the U.S. aren’t on Facebook every day. It’s not just the notoriously-uncool-with-teens Facebook, either. Snapchat also bests Instagram, Facebook Messenger, YouTube and WhatsApp, according to App Annie.
“On any given day in the US, 35% of Snapchat’s daily users cannot be reached by Facebook, 46% can’t be reached by Instagram and 58% can’t be reached by Messenger” the report says.
On its face, those are some pretty great stats for Snap (and ones we’ll likely hear a lot more about during its inaugural earnings call next week) but not just because they can “beat” Facebook in one metric.
“When you actually can say, ‘Well hey there’s a much greater percentage of the audience that’s on Snapchat that never even shows up on Facebook or YouTube,’ well, that is a pretty cool stat that would help a lot of advertisers better understand the value of their resources,” says Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo, a video analytics company that creates ads for both Snapchat and Facebook
That perspective likely wasn’t lost on Facebook. The company appeared to push back on the report Wednesday with its own new stat. “66% of Facebook’s monthly active users visit Facebook every day,” the company wrote in a note to reporters detailing its Q1 earnings for 2017, released just hours after App Annie’s report.
These two companies are certainly battling with each other pretty heavily
Coincidence? Maybe, but probably not.
“These two companies are certainly battling with each other pretty heavily,” says Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “They are obviously fighting an investor narrative.”
But, again, Snap doesn’t just need to win over investors, it needs advertisers as well. Cicero says App Annie’s report lines up with his experience on Snapchat, and reinforces his decision to send more ad dollars to Snap.
“The amount of consumption that happens by the Snapchat user who is also engaged in creating, is something that I think is not replicable on Facebook, on Instagram — it’s fundamentally different,” Cicero says.
Whether that will be enough to move the needle for more advertisers, many of whom still see Snapchat as an experiment, is another matter. And claims of an “exclusive” audience — even a really engaged one —can only take a public company so far, Bajarin says.
“If they can’t continually grow no matter what, whether that’s ad dollar or user dollars, they’re just going to continue to get hammered from a stock standpoint.”