Older Adults Are Invading Snapchat: How The Messaging App May Still Remain Cool
Facebook was once the social media platform for teens and young adults until parents and older family members came barging in. But the thing about social media is there is always some new and cooler platform that millennials can go to in order to be able to express themselves among their peers without judgement.
It has been Snapchat that has provided an escape from the older crowd for teens and millennials, but as it continues to become more and more popular, older adults are now joining in on all the fun. Thanks, filters.
According to a report from the market research firm comScore, the disappearing photo and video app is "rapidly growing" in users who are more than 35 years old.
The findings reveal that 14 percent of Snapchat users are ages 35 and older, which is up 2 percent from this demographic from three years ago.
Older millennials ages 25 to 34 years old on the platform has also increased by 5 percent from three years ago to now make up 38 percent of users.
(Photo : Gage Skidmore | Flickr) U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky recording a message for Snapchat.
The data suggest that Snapchat has come a long way since its launch five years ago, and especially from 2013 when it was seen simply as a platform for young people to send racy photos.
This should come to no surprise since we have seen this trend with Facebook in the past. The world's largest social network started as a platform for college students and now just about everyone in a user's family has an account from grandma all the way down to her grandchildren.
Even though teens and millennials — and just about everyone of all ages — continue to use platform, it has been Snapchat that has stolen the spotlight among the younger crowd.
And just because there are more older adults using Snapchat doesn't meant that young people have started to flock away. The amount of 18- to 24-year-olds using the app is about 69 percent, a 24 percent increase from 2013 to present.
Now that older adults upgraded to smartphones and finally learned how to use them, it appears they aren't shying away from checking out other social media platforms just like Facebook. With user's moms on Snapchat, many might assume young teens and millennials will stop sharing their lives via Snaps, but Snapchat probably won't lose its cool factor — at least not at first.
No matter what age a new user is, the first thing most commonly heard from them about joining the app is that they still don't really know how to use it yet. And the learning curve might be harder for the older crowd to grasp. However, once the user is familiar with how Snapchat works, chances are even adults will get addicted. That's because of features like the Lenses that change every day and the Stories stream of content that allow the user to follow a specific user through a 24-hour frame of time.
While these features are luring in the older crowd, the younger crowd doesn't have to quit the app because they can choose to show their photo and video Snaps to everyone but their older family members. And because these messages self-destruct, they don't have to worry about their parents finding a racy photo or somehow finding a paper trail of where they really were and what they really did with friends. There is also no way to publicly message or "like" posts, which continues to make sharing more private.
There are about 150 million people who use Snapchat each day. With those impressive numbers, it was only a matter a time before the older generations jumped on board. At least young users don't have to worry about deleting their accounts just yet.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Photos: Roman Drits, Barn Images | Flickr
Gage Skidmore | Flickr