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Photo messaging app Snapchat has remained a hot topic over the past couple years due to users’ controversial privacy concerns. It most recently made headlines in November 2013 for turning down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook.
Though relatively newer than some of its social networking counterparts, teens are turning more to Snapchat to engage with their friends than older networks such as Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. A February 2014 survey conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital found that approximately 46% of US teens and young adults ages 12 to 24 had used Snapchat. Snapchat was the third most popular social network—trailing only Facebook and Instagram in usage.
It appears that college students have an even deeper affinity for Snapchat: 77% told Sumpto in February 2014 that they used the app every day.
There is a massive opportunity for marketers to reach college students through the app. Nearly seven out of 10 college social networkers in the US said they would add a brand on Snapchat simply because they followed it on another social network.
The opportunity to receive discounts or promotions was the top reason college students would want to receive Snapchat communications from brands, cited by 67%. This is not surprising, as frugality often tends to prevail at the college level.
A significant portion of college students, however, just want to be entertained. More than one-fifth said they would most like to receive funny communications from a brand on Snapchat.
The challenge for marketers lies in creating an effective message on the platform, whose distinguishing function is that pictures self-delete in less than 10 seconds.
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