According to American consumer data-analytics company Measure Protocol, Apple’s Messages—the app powered by the company’s iMessage platform—is the most-used communication app for teens in the States. The app comes preinstalled on iPhones and has contributed to the popularity of Apple’s devices among teens. However, they mainly use it for contacting family members.

In second place is Snapchat, used by nearly three quarters of people ages 16 to 24, according to Measure Protocol. When it comes to interaction among their peers, Gen Z tend to prefer it. Snap said its hallmark app had more than 750 million monthly active users worldwide in April, 150 million more than last year.

Yet despite its popularity with a young, advertiser-coveted demographic, Snap has struggled to find a model that capitalises on it. The company’s revenue, hurt by cutbacks in online ad sales and Apple’s iOS privacy restrictions, dropped 7% in the first quarter. Furthermore at its peak in September 2021, Snap’s market cap was $113 billion. It’s now valued at $15 billion.

“For this generation, it’s probably Snap 90% of the time, text message 10% of the time,” said Nabila Popal, research director at IDC Worldwide, a market-intelligence firm to the Wall Street Journal. “I’ve got three kids, and a ton of nieces and nephews. If I make a family group chat using iMessage, they won’t respond.”

The initial appeal of Snapchat when it launched back in 2011 was privacy. Teens feel more relaxed knowing that these messages won’t stick around forever, analysts say. The socially geared app also makes it easy to find people you might know and shows how many friends you have in common with other users. “My friends and I don’t all have each other’s numbers,” said Jada Hunt, an 18-year-old high-school senior in Clarksville, Tenn. “But if you look somebody’s name up, you can usually tell if it’s them.”

I’m Gen Z but in the older bracket being born before 2000. I don’t use Snapchat. I find it childish to be fully honest. I agree with Jada Hunt, when I was in uni until 18 months ago I too only had people on Instagram DM and wouldn’t bother asking for their number. As I age and my social circle becomes smaller and tighter, I always ask for a phone number so I can Whatsapp or text – it just feels more personal. 

So the question is, will Gen Z users still be using Snapchat when they’re 30?…

Categorized in: