Media & Entertainment

In the Age of Stories, Millennials Are Ditching Snapchat for Instagram

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The Gist: Millennials who use Snapchat every day have remained immutable over the last several quarters, and there’s even been a rise among Millennials who have recently dropped the app. Instagram, in comparison, has seen usage rise among the same group, with no sign that users are pressing the delete button anytime soon. Presumably, this has to do with the rise of Stories across these platforms, in which Instagram seems to be winning.


Picture this – you’re looking good. Your outfit is on point, and the sun has blessed you with a golden glow. You find the perfect lighting, and a selfie is inevitable. But, you’re pressed on time. Do you take a Snapchat selfie for your friends to see for a span of seconds, or do you post an everlasting photo on your Instagram?

That’s right – you probably decided on Instagram.

Accompanied by Snapchat’s falling stock last week, we took a lot at our data to see how the platform is faring compared to Instagram, a platform that cultivates a similar demographic.

What we found doesn’t shock us considering Snapchat’s recent stock announcement, but the comparison between these two platforms is quite fascinating.

First, let’s look at Snapchat usage among Millennials:

A CivicScience graph showing that the number of Millennials who use Snapchat has declined over the past several quarters

As you might be able to notice, Millennials who use Snapchat daily have remained steady over the last several quarters (29-30%). Not great, but not horrible. However, we also have our eyes on the little purple line, showing that Millennials who used to use Snapchat but no longer do have risen 2% since last quarter. This might not seem significant until we take a look at Instagram.

A CivicScience graph showing that the number of Millennials who use Instagram is increasing, probably due to Instagram Stories.

Notice anything different? Daily Millennial users of Instagram have been steadily increasing (2%, in fact, since last quarter), and only 38% of Millennials have never used it. Lastly, unlike Snapchat users who seem to be dropping the app, we don’t notice any uptick in Millennials who used to use Instagram, but don’t anymore.

Perhaps this decline connects to the rise of Stories – a feature that has appeared across numerous apps, including Snapchat and Instagram. 400 Million users are currently active on Instagram’s Stories feature, compared to only 200 Million on Snapchat.

So, even though Snapchat has an impressive fan base, it may need to up the ante when it comes to Stories, if it hopes to curb this threatening abandonment by Millennials.


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