Snapchat is poised to pull ahead of Twitter and Pinterest in the US for the first time, with fresh research forecasting that the messaging app will grow its user base by double digits to reach almost one in five Americans.
Snapchat’s stateside user base will jump by 27.2 per cent to 58.6 million, outpacing Twitter which will have 56.8 million users in the US this year according to eMarketer.
Forgoing figures supplied by social networks, which often disclose daily or active users, eMarketer has unveiled a study that defines a user as someone who logs into an account at least once a month consistently over a calendar year. The approach means users with multiple active accounts count as only one person in the estimates, and avoids mistakenly counting bots as active users.
In addition to leapfrogging Twitter, the study suggests that Snapchat’s growth will also see it surpass Pinterest, which will end the year on 54.6 million US-based subscribers.
This gap will further widen by 2020 when Snapchat will add 26.9 million users to reach a total of 85.5 million Americans.
Despite the explosive growth, which will note the most uptake among those under 12 at 42.9 per cent, Snapchat will be unable to catch up to Facebook Messenger according to eMarketer.
The world’s biggest social network’s messaging platform will continue to dominate the chat app category in the US in 2016 – with an uptick of 16.4 per cent bringing its total user count to 105 million or about twice that of Snapchat.
“What makes Snapchat different from other mobile messaging apps—and more-established social networks—is the short-lived nature of the messages, said eMarketer principal analyst Cathy Boyle , “the highly visual interface and the features that enable users to get creative with the images they share, and tailor them to specific locations or events,”.
“Snapchat has tapped into a key change in consumer behavior: The desire for intimate one-to-one or one-to-few communication as opposed to broadcast-style sharing across an entire network. This desire is particularly strong among millennials and younger consumers who don’t have strong ties to the traditional social networks,” she added.
Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Snapchat was overtaking Twitter in terms of global daily active users; seeing an average of 150 million users a day compared to its rivals 136 million.