The results of this latest survey might make Facebook executives wish that they had tried a bit harder to buy Snapchat.
According to a Piper Jaffray report Snapchat has become the “most important social network” among teenagers, beating out Instagram. Researchers asked 6,500 U.S. teens aged 14-19 which was the most important service, with 28% naming Snapchat and 27% choosing Instagram.
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Snapchat now more “important” than Instagram for teens
Although the disappearing message app only beat photo-sharing app Instagram by 1%, it is part of a wider trend. Instagram has taken top spot in this study for the past two years, and last spring it was chosen by 32% of teens. Last fall that number rose slightly to 33%.
In those two surveys Snapchat was named by 13% and 19% respectively.
In the latest survey Twitter and Facebook came in third and fourth, with Yahoo-owned Tumblr in fifth. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 before bidding $3 billion for Snapchat in 2013.
The disappearing message app rebuffed the advances and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Valuable statistics for advertisers
Facebook attempted the acquisition in order to boost its audience and product range. Instagram provided Facebook a new audience that tended to be younger and female, while Snapchat offered the same kind of audience plus a popular messaging app.
The results of the survey are not that surprising given the popularity of messaging apps. Although social networks such as Facebook offer the same opportunity to socialize, messaging apps are more intimate and remove the stress of having to think about the effect of broadcasting your personality to the entire internet.
One note on the survey is that it measured perception of the social networks rather than actual usage. However another study carried out by Edison Research and Triton Digital discovered that usage roughly aligns with perception.
Some 72% of Snapchat users are aged 12-24, while that number falls to 66% on Instagram. Both perception and usage statistics are vital for advertisers who are trying to work out where they should place ads in order to reach certain demographics.