youThink – The ephemeral millennial
Why the rise (and rise) of Snapchat says so much about youth culture
This short piece by Ben Marks is based on Luke Mitchell’s article, Chalk it up to youth experience (M&C Allegra, Sept 2015) The article features YouthSight data.
The app launched 2011 and now Snapchat has captivated the 16-18 market. But when it started it appeared to have little purpose. Who’d want an application where the message and picture disappeared shortly after sending? However, with Twitter enjoying the full gaze of the public domain and with mum and dad on Facebook, Snapchat’s raison d’être was, and is, entirely clear to the youth market.
The ephemeral nature of the messages shared on Snapchat makes it perfectly suited to young peoples’ growing desire to share experiences rather than things, on social media. Informing friends of the new phone you’ve purchased has far less social currency than sharing a picture of the sunset you’re enjoying, you messing around with your mates or the crowd going crazy at the festival you’re at… All ephemeral and all perfect for sharing on Snapchat, the quintessentially ephemeral message sharing app.
The stats back it up. YouthSight’s new dashboard-based syndicated tracking study, SYN: State of the Youth Nation reinforces the picture. Seventy three percent of Millennials agree “I’d rather tell people about something I’ve done than something I’ve got.” It shows that Snapchat is now the fourth most popular social brand among 16-24s. It’s the second fastest growing. It’s more popular than Instagram.