Snapchat vs. Instagram: Black Teens in Focus

  • 9 out of 10 black teenagers use Snapchat
  • 83% of teens open Snapchat monthly vs. 82% of teens using Instagram monthly

Snapchat (SNAP +0.70%) has reigned supreme with the teen set, although there are signs its popularity is dwindling. Teens are a coveted but fickle group of tech users with black teens being the first-movers in many ways. Just how much has brand loyalty amongst this group waned for these social media brands?

Why This Matters: Teenagers and their technology are inseparable with 9 out of 10 black teenagers using Snapchat, according to a survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Black teens are the most likely to have access to smartphones, which could explain why they’re the biggest and most frequent users of mobile-friendly social media apps Snapchat and Instagram. “It speaks to the level of embeddedness of the technology in black youth’s lives and their willingness to move into new platforms more quickly than their counterparts,” said Amanda Lenhart, the lead researcher on the survey.

Piper Jaffray's released it’s "Teens Survey" which showed Snapchat has a slight advantage in the social media teenager race with 83% of teens opening the app monthly, whereas 82% of teens are monthly active Instagram users. For advertisers, where Instragram’s parent company Facebook (FB -0.92%) owns outsized dominance in this space it might not matter. The social media giant is forecast to control 18% of the global digital advertising market this year, according to research firm eMarketer. Since Instagram has largely the same user base as Snapchat, it comes down to having the best tools for advertisers which gives Facebook a slight advantage.

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Situational Awareness: More than 95% of black teens have access to a smartphone, compared with 89% of whites and 86% of hispanics. While this may make them savvier on social media and messenger apps, the technology could be a handicap in education or employment, especially for teens who don’t have access to other types of devices.

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