With Snapchat on the verge of its IPO and Facebook creeping up on YouTube (and other video streaming services) by launching a new standalone TV app, social media platforms are looking to expand their influence and business models well beyond simple networking. Sometimes it doesn’t work out as well as hoped: despite a bump in user numbers thanks to the U.S. elections, Twitter’s disappointing earnings seem to be driving the company’s decision to cut down its ad products in hopes that a more streamlined set of offerings will produce better results (and happier customers).
Which Social Media Properties Are Gaining Users and Traction?
A lot has changed over the past 6 months – so how are some of the biggest social media platforms performing today? Verto Analytics compared the reach and stickiness (a comparison of daily users versus monthly users to quantify user engagement) of five of the biggest social media properties between August 2016 and January 2017 (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above). While Facebook and Instagram’s metrics remained relatively stable, Twitter and Snapchat have made gains in user reach (but not in stickiness). YouTube has lost user reach and stickiness – especially worrying in the face of Facebook’s latest venture into online video.
Surprisingly, Twitter made some of the biggest gains in user reach, jumping from 39% reach in August 2016 to 57% reach in January 2017, although it’s only slightly increased its stickiness. And although Snapchat has boosted its reach from 14% in August 2016 to 22% in January 2017, that increase isn’t as dramatic an Twitter’s numbers and – even more concerning – its stickiness rating has remained stagnant. Should Twitter’s monetization woes serve as a cautionary tale to Snapchat and its potential investors?