What are college kids doing on Friday and Saturday nights? Snapchatting.

What are college kids doing on Friday and Saturday nights? Snapchatting.

Snapchat, the “now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t” photo app, has caught the attention of the tech world because of its rapid success, occasional controversy and most of all, its devoted audience of users.

What the heck is Snapchat?” you might be saying in your head right now…

Snapchat is a photo service that allows users to take pictures or videos, known as “snaps” of themselves or their surroundings and send it to either their entire list of followers and make it their “story” or select the users who will see their snap.  On the snap, you can add a small amount of text, emojis, filters, or use the draw setting to create a masterpiece.  You can then choose how long your snap can be viewed from anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds.  Once sent, the recipient will see the snap for a few seconds before the picture disappears into oblivion, otherwise known as the Snapchat server.  The only way Snapchat recipients can see a snap again is by either screenshotting it to be saved, which the sender will be notified of, by replaying the snap once, or if the sender sets the snap as a “story,” which means the users’ entire friend list can view the snap as many times as they want within 24 hours.

Perfect example of silly nonsensical Snapchat.  Courtesy of Buzzfeed.
Prefect example of a Snapchat masterpiece. Courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Are you still confused about this flippant photo sharing outlet?  Are you asking, “What the point of looking at a picture for 3 seconds?”  Are you over the age of 35?  Because that might be why, according to a recent study by NuVooDoo, which shows just how “Teen-y” Snapchat’s main audience is.

According to the survey conducted, about 37% of 14-17 year-olds who are internet users use Snapchat at least weekly, and 18-34 year-olds trailed behind at 16%.  Only 4.2% of 35-54 year olds have caught on to the young, hip Snapchat.

Chart of NuVooDoo Study.
Chart of NuVooDoo Study.

What began as a method to share special moments between friends and family quickly resulted in a free-for-all of young users sharing either the funniest, the ugliest, the most embarrassing, inappropriate or even the most intimate photos with the intention that their selected recipients will only see the photo for seconds before it vanishes into thin air (but not really).

If the total percentage of all internet users who use Snapchat at least weekly is 14%, it is clear that teens account for a huge number of Snapchat users.  Another study by Mashable shows that an astounding 77% of college students use Snapchat once a day!  The study also says that 70%-80% of their Snapchat use takes place on either Friday or Saturdays or late into the night.

At the ripe old age of 22, I wouldn’t quite consider myself a teen, but I am guilty of being a Snapchat addict.  My friends never go a day without receiving multiple few-second “snaps” that show them where I am, what I’m eating, the hideous outfit on the person next to me, my cat, and countless pictures of me looking as ridiculous as possible.

The artist of this snap has been named the Van Gogh of Snapchat by Buzzfeed.
The artist of this snap has been named the Van Gogh of Snapchat by Buzzfeed.


Now the question you may be asking yourself is, “Why would anyone care about any of those things??” Here’s the answer: I don’t know. But I do.

There is no reason why the younger generation of millenials has decided to stay constantly connected with each other and their selected social media circles. But one thing is for sure, as long as there are applications that give them the ability to do it- they will.

Which is how Snapchat grew to immense success.  Snapchat is completely aware of their extremely segmented target audience and achieves its popularity by catering to only that group.  Any updates to the app and marketing efforts are catered to connecting it’s younger audience with each other and to marketers.  The developers do not go out of their way to try to expand their audience.   Instead they stay busy enough trying to keep up with the never boring, always moving, always connected millennials.


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