Snapchat experienced ‘explosive’ UK user growth in 2016, but superheated pace will slow says eMarketer

Snapchat experienced ‘explosive’ UK user growth in 2016, but superheated pace will slow says eMarketer

Snapchat’s UK user base experienced mammoth growth in 2016 jumping by almost 90% year-on-year to reach 11.2 million users according to eMarketer’s latest mobile forecast.

Researchers calculated the figures by tracking the number of mobile phone users accessing the ephemeral messaging app at least once a month, and note that while strong UK growth will continue this year it will come at a much slower pace.

The forecast predicts that by the end of 2017 Snapchat will boast 13.6 million mobile users, roughly one third of all UK smartphone owners, noting up uptake of 20.6% on 2016.

Rival app Instagram, which has nabbed some of Snapchat’s original features like Stories over the past 12 months, is a little further along the path to maturity having noted a banner year of growth in 2015 where its UK user base doubled.

In 2016 Instagram there were 12.2 million mobile UK Instagram users with both Snapchat and Instagram’s counts expected to reach 18.3 million users and 18.7 million users respectively by the end of the forecast period in 2021.

Despite this growth, the duo will still fall behind social behemoth Facebook, which will have an estimated 30.3 million mobile users in Britain by the same year.

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, published details of its $3bn IPO with the New York Stock exchange just last week, but the company has been doubling down its efforts in the UK recently.

In January it revealed it was set to change the focus of its London office, and throughout 2016 and into this year it has worked with several big name brands on UK-wide campaigns and content pushes including the Guardian, Adidas and the BBC.

Official figures from the company place its UK userbase at 10 million daily active subscribers.

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