Teenager schoolgirls having fun with mobile phones
Will teens abandon SnapChat like they did Facebook when older people join?

I remember when I got active on Facebook.  One of the first things I did was check the pages of my children.  I noticed my son hadn’t posted a lot.  When I asked him, he smiled and said “That’s because you’re looking at my public page.”  Turns out he had another Facebook page that he shared only with his friends.  Why?  Snooping parents.  Oh.

SnapChat’s the new thing.  Well, not so new, but certainly the in-thing for the younger set right now.  It’s the fastest growing social network and just passed up Instagram to take its place as the #2 communications site behind Facebook.  Now, it seems, older people are starting to discover it.  You know, the old people – age 35 and older.


Same thing happened to Facebook, originally started for college students and quickly adopted by teens.  As older people joined, it lost some of its cache with younger users.  Even your grandparents are on Facebook now!  Did Facebook lose its “coolness” factor?

 “We’re almost 10 years old, so we’re definitely not a niche thing anymore so that kind of angle for coolness is done for us.” – Mark Zuckerberg (2013)

SnapChat is different

The difference with SnapChat is that much of the communication expires either after viewing or after 24 hours – and the photos and videos can be shared to just one people instead of posting it for the world to see.

Snapchat, based in Venice, Calif., says it welcomes the influx of older users. “Our community enjoys having their parents on Snapchat because it’s a really fast and fun way to communicate,” a spokeswoman said. “We don’t have the public likes and comments that often make for awkward moments on traditional social media. It’s never been an issue,” she added. – Wall Street Journal

In fact, SnapChat may need to broaden its appeal past teens and Millennials if it wishes to grow its revenue base.