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This year, 95.0% of 18-to-24-year-old internet users in the US will log on to a social network via any device at least once per month, eMarketer estimates—the highest penetration among any other age range. Based on recent research by comScore Media Metrix, Snapchat usage skews heavily toward this group.
According to the December 2014 study, internet users ages 18 to 24 accounted for 45% of Snapchat users in the US. Their older millennial counterparts—25- to 34-year-olds—had the second-largest share of users, though one nearly 20 percentage points lower, leaving the 35-and-older group with just 30% share. In comparison, for every other social network studied, young millennials didn’t even represent 30% of the audience.
A November 2014 study by Cowen and Company found similar results among US internet users ages 18 to 29, as the group accounted for 71% of Snapchat users in the past 30 days.
Unsurprisingly, millennials spend more time each day with Snapchat than their older counterparts. Cowen found that those ages 18 to 29 allocated nearly 20 minutes per day to Snapchat on average, vs. just under 9 minutes for the 30-to-44 group. Despite representing a smaller share of users, respondents ages 45 to 60 spent the second-largest amount of time each day with the social network, at 13.6 minutes, while the 60-and-older group devoted just 6.0 minutes daily.
Smartphones likely account for most of that time, based on November 2014 research by Defy Media. More than four in 10 US millennial internet users ages 18 to 24 who used Snapchat and had access to both a smartphone and tablet logged on to the social network via smartphone, vs. fewer than one-fifth who used tablets. In all, the study found that 30% of US millennial internet users accessed Snapchat regularly. Brands targeting the demographic on the social platform should keep in mind that they’re often viewing messages on a smaller screen.
Among US senior ad buyers polled by Cowen in December who had allocated no spending to Snapchat in 2014, 19% intended to put money toward the social network this year. This was the second-highest response, trailing only Instagram (30%). It’s likely that millennials will see a large chunk of the expected increase in Snapchat ads.
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