While the fortunes of four year old Snapchat has been on the rise lately, there is no end to the woes of Twitter. Twitter now seems to be everybody’s favorite metaphor for how things can go spectacularly wrong.
The latest ‘bad news’ for Twitter is the fact that Snapchat has overtaken it in the number of daily users. According to reports, Snapchat has over 150 million people busy snapchatting on the app everyday. Twitter on the other has about 140 million people twitting away on their smartphones or on the Web. The difference in daily user usage might seem small at this moment, until you put it in context.
For one, Twitter used to be the biggest social network after Facebook. As a matter of fact, a couple of years after it launched 10 years ago, it’s growth was so phenomenal. It even threatened to surpass Facebook. But somehow, somewhere, they lost the plot and have being stuck at the 300 million subscribers base for some years now. Snapchat on the other is not even half a decade old, and they are already thinking way beyond surpassing Twitter.
Some of the numbers from Snapchat are really impressive too. It’s popular video service takes the lead with 10 billion videos watched everyday. In February this year, the figure was 8 billion videos daily, while just a few months earlier in November, the figure was 6 billion videos. This shows a steady increase in number of people using the app.
The Young And Snapchat
What makes Snapchat so popular especially among young people? Young people are the ones fuelling the growth of Snapchat. And to be frank, in the modern digital age, once you capture the hearts and minds of the young, your are most likely to be successful. This is because, people in that demographic bracket use the Internet more. Especially apps that are fun to use.
Fun is where Snapchat seem to get it right. It has several features that young people enjoy using. One such feature is the photo-filtering ability of the app known as faceswap. With this feature one can easily alter any photo in a funny way and share it with friends. Faceswap is so popular among youths that Facebook is trying to replicate the same thing on their platform by buying Masquerade. Masquerade is a standalone app that has some of the features of Snapchat’s Faceswap.
Another recent update in Snapchat is proving to be as popular too. Last week they launched more stickers for their users. The stickers include emoting pineapples and Ilamas. Though the stickers were first introduced last month, the new update allowed Snapchat users to now use the stickers in the App the way emojis are used.
How Twitter is Fighting Back
It is not as if Twitter is not fighting back though. However, there is a widely held believe that their attempts at revamping the service are not having the desired impact. The recent update was to increase the number of words that can be tweeted by about 22. This they did by not including pictures and urls as part of the words-count in each tweet. But that fell far short of what users wanted. Which was zero-restriction in limit. Or the the very least a thousand words limit.
Another token attempt at reviving it’s fortunes was to re-label the Twitter service as a news app in the Apps stores. This change in category immediately took it to number one in the news category. This is in sharp contrast to its position in the social networking category. There, it was firmly behind Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and it seemed likely other apps would overtake it in due course. How far this switch to the news category would help Twitter would be known in a few months. Nobody would be surprised though if the status of Twitter as a dying service is not significantly altered by that switch.
Meanwhile, Snapchat continues to grow at a frightening pace. At least, frightening for Facebook. Because now, there is talk that if Snapchat sustains this momentum, it would soon rival Facebook as the biggest social networking app.
photo credit: notedy.com