Is Snapchat Selling Out?

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
11/9/2017
New Media

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Is Snapchat selling out?

Snapchat recent revealed that they're in the process of redesigning their application to increase it's appeal to the mass market, mainly older generations. Snapchat's rise to popularity was much in part by it's distinct appeal to a younger audience and almost intentional alienation of "adults."

It's easy to assume this change is instigated by investors who are unhappy with seeing Snapchat's usage numbers. Do you think this is a smart move that will pan out for Snapchat or just alienate their original and most loyal audience?

Comments & Feedback

Student

From my point of view, I think the snap chat should just keep what are doing right now, because I do believe that the snap chat has a lot loyal users. It is very hard for a social media app to target some new audiences or users. As we all know, the snap chat is popular in the younge age generation. Teenagers and young age people are using the snap chat a lot, most of the loyal customers of the snap chat are from this group of people, the only thing they need to is keep their main strategy and target their loyal customers. 

Student

It is true that snapchat's usage is decreasing. I myself have observed in the last 4 weeks that my snapchat usage has significantly reduced. Maybe I can attribute it to growing old or the availability of similar functionality on instagram. At this point, trying to incorporate a broader, older audience is only going to reduce the numbers even lower. The functionality of snapchat for older generations is very very limited, whatever tactics and features they try to incorporate. Moreover, the younger, baby boomers will also be lost in this effort. So it is a lose-lose situation for snapchat at this point I think.

Student

I dont think it makes Snapchat a "sell out' by broadening their audiance to the older generations. Snapchat should tailor the app to appeal to their loyal followers, but also have features that dont make the older generations feel isolated from the app. I also believe this is a smart move to potentially make more money from advertising. Older generation would be more likely to spend money. Also, younger generations are way more accustomed to change and going for the next best social media fade or trend. Where as if Snapchat appeals to older generationd they will have gained the more "loyal" followers. 

Student

I do not think Snapchat has to alienate their original audiences. I think this decision would decrease the number of audiences for Snapchat. Snapchat is a playful app that most audiences are young people. If investors think they need to target younger audience which is younger than the original audiences. Then, they might want to target some primary school students? Middle school students? I do not think they even have their smart phones. If I am an investor, I would like to let Snapchat come up with more playful functions and then add it to the Snapchat app. 

Student

As you mentioned in your post, Snapchat is most popular with the younger generation than it is for baby boomers. I just think that this type of social media is much more appealing to a younger group of people. Despite this the investors want to redesign the app to make it more attractive to use for for the older generations. I personally don't like the idea because I don't need older family members watching my story and sending me snaps, but I can understand the move from a business point of view. They want to expand their user base and since they seem to have already tapped all of the users they can from younger people, they are just targeting the next demographic on the list basically.

Student

At first snapchat was an app for a younger generation, but I feel as if the older generation became jealous of the amount of fun "we" were having and wanted to get in on the excitement. I have a lot of friends on campus whose moms have snapchat (and now so does mine). I think that for snapchat to redesign the application to appeal to a older audience is kind of dumb. Clearly, the app is very successful and they are finding new ways to improve and become innovative. In my opinion, if a younger audience notices that snapchat is changing for these reasons they might be turned away by this because they dont want to "use an old person app". 

Student

I don't think targeting a new audience will be a good move for snapchat.  From my environemt, I can defeintely tell that snapchat appeals to a certain type of audience, which is a younger audience.  Snapchat is a playful app that is mainly known for it's filters.  I do not think this type of app would actually appeal to an older audience.  It seems like that would just be unncessary money spent on advertising if the goal is to gain more older people to download the app. 

Student

I have not use snapchat before, but I know snapchat is popular app in American. there are a lot of users here. almost 90% of college students use snapchat.  but for old generations, they usually don't know how to use smart phone, snapchat is hard for them.  the reason for Snapchat gain lots younger user, because the almost all the younger users use social media at anytime. I don't think Snapchat spend money and time on old generations is good idea.

Student

I never downloaded and used snapchat, but I did some research about it. It is a really good app for young people because it can protect people's privacy savely. After I figure out all the functions about this app, I don't think it is suitable for the older generation. In China, people like to save their pictures for memory rather then delete it after posted. For some 60 or even older people, most of them do not use smartphone. So i don't think is a good idea that snapchat to appeal the older generation.

Student

The reason snapchat got big was becuase of their appeal to youth.  Snapchat has evolved much since it's beginning, and I don't think they will be going away anytime soon.  Snapchat will get ruined if they don't take the right approach.  What they need to do is target their users by generation.  My generation was the one that got snapchat where it is today.  Continue to evolve Snapchat based on my generation entering adulthood would be a smart move.  Not just adults, but us who are turning into adults, would be a great movie in my opinion.

Student

Although I have never used or even download snapchat (lol), I still think this app is mainly used by younger generation. The first thing that pops into my mind after I have read this post was that many older generations don't even use a smart phone. Even if for older adults, their daily life might be more busier than younger people because of work or family. So I think it's kind of difficult for Snapchat to gain older users, and they might also lose some of the younger users if they made the changes.

Student

I definitely think it would be a mistake if snapchat spent time and money redesigning the app to raise popularity among older generations. Older generations aren't as interested in social media as younger ones are, and that just has to be accepted. Sure older generations are seen on Facebook, but they rarely go past that. Why try to redesign an app for an audience that might not even come around and increase popularity. I know a few adults who have snapchats but they rarely use them. Even knowing how it works, I find they aren't that interested. 

Student

I definitely agree with this notion. Social Media tends to be more prominent in younger generations, and therefore will be more productive and worthwhile if platforms like snapchat focus on an appealing audience. 

I also like how you compared younger with older generations in terms of their social media usage. This is definitely the trend that commonly exists between these two generations. 

Student

I think if Snapchat tries to redesign its app to appeal to an older audience, it will most definitely lose its appeal to its younger, loyal users.  Snapchat is used in casual setting where its users don't want to have to worry about who sees their pictures/videos.  If Snapchat redesigns the app, it'll become more like Facebook where younger users will have to become more cautious of what they post and the user count will decline.  

Student

 

I believe if Snapchat spends money and time on redesigning their application to appeal to mass audiences like older generations it would be a huge mistake. The older generation is only going to adapt in so many ways to the technology-world today, and I don’t believe something as simple as a few updates and redesign techniques will make adults want to Snapchat each other. I also believe this would deter the current audience of young millennials who tend to want some apps that are separate from what their parents can see and interact on themselves. In the end I think Snapchat would lose a lot of money and drive themselves into losing all of their market. Sometimes expanding your market is okay, but in this instance I don’t see the older generation ever to find Snapchat very appealing no matter the redesign.

 

Student

I think Snapchat is definitely going to lose its popularity and sell out if it tries to market to older generations to use their app. For me Snapchat has always been a platform for which I could post things that I would want my friends to see, not my parents or my parent’s friends. If older generations were to use the app I think many people would lose interest in the app if this were to happen because they wouldn’t want older generations to see their content, or simply to know what they were doing. This is not to say that the things younger people post are always bad but I think that by adding an older generation, younger people will lose a sense of privacy and security. For example, as older generations became more active in the Facebook social media platform, younger generations turned to other social media platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, etc. 

Student

Snapchat has been around since I started college in 2014, and has been used as a platform for the millenial generation, 30 and under, to stay connected and provide a visual to your peer's everyday lives. Personally, I know a few a parents with Snapchats and whenever they request to add me, I feel as if my privacy has been invaded; which leads to them getting blocked. If my mom followed me on snap, I would not have as much freedom on it as I do now.

Thus, I don't think it should appeal to the older generation however, my mom does get jealous that she can't use the filters it provides. Most adults that are born outside of the millenial generation do not have the desire to update others on their lives hourly via video, which leads to them just being nosey to those they follow. 

However, SnapChat can just provide an additonal support app that allows people to use their filters and connect them to their other social media accounts. This can also allow users to access the filters that retire after the season ends and offer b2b contact with business who use the filters as promotional material. 

Student

I think that if Snapchat has more appeal to the older generations, they will loose out on the their current main market. I don't think there is a way attract that broad of an age bracket with an application such as Snapchat. Certain Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have an appeal to that large of an age bracket but they were both designed to appeal to that large of an age bracket. Snapchat, I feel, was made for the younger generation to have something a that their parents don't.

Student

I do think in a way they are selling out. Personally, a big appeal of snapchat is that adults are not on it and I truly hope it stays that way. Since it is "less permanent" a lot of college students use it to add videos that they wouldn't post elsewhere for fear of it being more permanent and for their adult acquaintances seeing it. I'm not sure how much of an impact it will truly have though. I think if they try to get older people they will lose some younger people and it might back fire on them. Stick with what works is what I think they should do, which is the younger generation. 

Student

I think it is worth to do it. I done some researches on Google. The reason why snapchat needs to redesign is because third-quarter report that showed lower user growth than desired. In order to catch older audience, Snapchat needs to make the app easier to use for its audience. 

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Student

I think the Snapchat team should always be competitive because more and more creative and practical apps appearing in the broad market. It is a good opportunity to get changed and redesign a brand new stuff for their new customers. I think they can refer other apps to do this changes, such as WeChat which is the most popular app in China. 

Student

I think that it is inevitable for this to happen. As platforms and products like Snapchat evolve and become a sensation, there will always be more interest in it and people pulling it every which way. However, that does not mean that I would like for it to happen. I like the idea that Snapchat is something for the youth to hold onto. I understand that technology is constantly evolving and basically taking over the planet, but there still should be thigns that are segmented off to a certain audience. I fear that expanding to the older generations will make the younger generations less intersted in it, which will make the company lose money in the end. 

Student

I think it is a very smart move and I won't worry about this move will alienate their original or most loyal customers. I think most of the senior citizen have children and their children should use Snapchat as daily. If Snapchat can redesign their mobile app for the senior citizen. I think the senior citizen will download their new app and use it. Because it will be a good function for connecting better between them and their children. 

Student

I think it is a good idea. There are more and more similar apps apeared. If the user numbers are not enough, Snapchat will no longer be there. So I think push it to the mass market is a good idea. And houstly, I think even it make this change, the number will not rise as much as they want. In my Iphone, I have SNOW, FaceU. These apps have already better than snapchat.

Student

I think that it is a good idea for Snapchat to expand. Personally I think it will be a nice fresh change to the platform and be a great way to connect generations. I don't think social media should be exclusive or unaccesible to certain age groups or other dempographics. Although i'm sure that it has something to do with usage numbers, I don't think that current users will stop using because of this unless the totally reformat the enitre app.

Student

Snapchat is definitely selling out. The main reason a lot of social media platforms die out is because "adults" start to use them. Once they started taking over Facebook, Facebook slowly decreased. Don't get me wrong Facebook is still a powerhouse, but I feel like my friends and peers are using Facebook less because of it. I am worried Snapchat will go through with this change and the same thing will happen to them. 

Student

I don't think changing their application format is a good idea. Snapchat is created for the young generation. Being fast and share quick messages is their idea of this product. Now, they want to change that is not a wise idea. They may not be able to get the older generation as they want, and probably will lose quite amount of loyal audience by not pay their attention towards them.

Student

Snapchat is in for the money. They should not change their app. I get you need to find more users but they are going to hurt there target audience that uses the product every day. They have already added ads to start to bring in more money. I think they could have an adult version of Snapchat. That would be easy to use but if you change feature that everyone likes/loves it could hurt the company.

Student

I don't use snapchat that often, but I still think snapchat is selling out now. It has been targeted the wrong audience as a result that they have had a lot of updates aimed for the adults rather than teenagers. For now, I don't think many people regard snapchat as their primary app to send messages or share pictures with their friends. There are many other apps have already taken the place of snapchat, like Instagram. However, it's not sure that whether snapchat will be backfire or not; time will tell.

Student

I do not think it will be great idea to expand the targeting audience. Targeting one specific age range is good idea. Since there are too many social media platforms in the world. Snapchat success on that specializing target. If they expand that idea they can lose main targeting range. 

Student

I think that this could be both good or depending on how they go about it. Snapchat is used to send videos and pictures to your friends and i believe that as long as they dont take away the basis of the apps big feature, they will be okay. Expanding your target market is a good tactic if itis done right.

Student

I don't think it is that smart of a move. They already have tons and tons of users and I agree, I think there was a huge appeal to the app because the "almost intentional alienation of adults". I still think people will continue to use it regardless, but I think that teenagers loved that they had a social media to post to where they didn't have to worry about their parents seeing what they were doing. Whether that is a good thing or bad thing is a different story.

Student

I have lots of friends like using Snapchat because Snapchat can pass the information you want to express just by using a picture or video. But I think Snapchat only for young people. If you expand its target group, then the software may have lost its special significance.

Student

I think it is a big deal for Snapcht, they need figure a perfect method to keep their old loyal users and expand new age group users. But if a plantform has fixed users group, they won't have many space advance, this is a chanllage for Snapchat.

Student

From my point of view, Snapchat is made for young groups. I think many people have the same thought with me. Redesigning their application may not help a lot to appeal new crowds, so it is not a smart move. Snapchat already has numerous loyal users and what snapchat needs to do is to develop the application for these users. If the application is good enough, potential users would increase gradually. However, if loyal users were no longer interested in the new app, snapchats would lose them. Therefore, it might be a risky change.

 

Student

I don’t think their strategy will be successful. Snapchat is more appropriate to our age around 18-25, for the older generations, they can’t really accept the APP like Snapchat easily. In fact, it’s designed for our age in the beginning, to change it might lose the old consumer. 

Student

In my opinion, change the target audience won't be a bad thing. Snapchat has a huge group of loyal user, they already have this part of social media users marketing. If the move to another age group, they can expand potential app user. It will increase influence.

Student

Snapchat is one of the social platforms that seems like it is specifically designed for a target audience. The idea behind it is oriented towards a younger audience so i dont think this idea is very smart. The older generations arent interested in what is happening every second of everyones life so the appeal just isnt there. This just seems like someone looking at the user data and realizing they are only appealing to a select group.

Student

I dont think that work for the comsumer. That is the dangerous deside for the Snapcahp, the idea will make old consumer leave alone the snapcahp. I feel the snapcahp need do some work to atrract more people not do just work for new consumer, and abandon the old consumer. 

Student

I dont think that work for the comsumer. That is the dangerous deside for the Snapcahp, the idea will make old consumer leave alone the snapcahp. I feel the snapcahp need do some work to atrract more people not do just work for new consumer, and abandon the old consumer. 

Student

My initial reaction to this news is that Snapchat is making a risky decision. Snapchat is probably one of the most popular social media platforms among younger audiences; redesigning the app to suit an audience Snapchat doesn't even have will most likely alienate most of their users. This sort of reminds me of the situation with the restaurant chain Applebees, when they recently redesigned their menu to appeal to millennials and only ended up losing a huge portion of their older audience. Sometimes it's best to stick to what's working--in other words, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Student

I feel like this is definatly a sellout move by Snapchat. Part of what makes the application appealing is that it seems like it is strictly for sending quick funny pictures and messages to friends. I have not been on Facebook in forever and its because everytime I go on I have tons of friend requests from aunts and uncles, even great aunts and uncles, that I see maybe once every two years. I have accepted a few and they fill my timeline with political rants and posts about how their service at Applebees last night was "unacceptable." Would hate to see this hapen with snapchat because I think they will lose the interest of the younger audience. 

Student

I think that for other social media, such as twitter or instagram, it could absolutely benefit an older audience. Digital media and marketing is extremely dependent on social media, so "adults" should definitely be using these platforms. Yet, I feel that snapchat is most appealing to us because of that alienation factor. I use snapchat mainly to socialize and for the so called "come and go" effect that it has, which I think older generations would find unappealing. I understand the initiative to expand to additional targets, yet for this particular app/audience pair, I do not think it's the best move, and it may drive others away from using it.

Student

I feel that Snapchat is selling out in a way. From experience with my own friends, I know people prefer Snapchat to other forms of social media because it is less permanent and there are less adults on the app. I feel that Snapchat will slowly lose its original user base if they continue appealing to an older audience, and another app is bound to realize this and come up with something similar to attract those who are abandoning Snapchat. I do not think it is a smart move for Snapchat to begin to alienate their original and loyal audience. I think it would be beneficial for them to find ways to attract a broader range of people in their key demographic rather than expanding audience and losing many of their current users. All in all, I understand what Snapchat is trying to get at here, but in a few years, their current users will become older users anyway, so I don't see much use in attracting older people. 

Student

I think Snapchat is doing the right thing, they should expand their target audience. Not just expand the age range, they can also focus on other countries. I am looking forward that they open their platform in China. I think right now Snapchat is really dangerous because Facebook and Instagram all have stroies functions right now. Snapchat definitely has to re-design their app.

Student

I think that while many adults don't use snapchat, if they really cared to use it they would already do it. I know plenty of adults who do use it and the concept is really pretty simple, it's not that it's too technologically advanced for an 'adult' to figure out if they cared. I don't think redesigning will bring them very many more users because many older users just don't see a point in taking a picture that will disappear. If Snapchat were to change that aspect of the app then they would lose a lot of younger users and not gain many older ones either is my guess! A ton of people use snapchat, and more and more older people are. I highly doubt the ones who don't use it now would use it after a redesign either. Snapchat is unique and chill, people don't treat it like other social media where they put up such a front, and you can pick and choose which people's public stories you see. I would be sad if they made any big changes! (Comment for Lesson 9)

Student

I don't think snapchat is selling out. I thought the same thing about Instagram a couple of years ago and now it's normal for adults to be on instagram. I definitely think it is smart for them to try to appeal to the mass market. It could go bad for them but being that they are already on a downhill slope I think they need to do something to make a come back. 

Student

I think they are selling out and i'm not sure if the end result will be a ideal for snapchat. It has always been geared towards the younger generation and they have had a lot of updates adding new and benefical things to their app but I cant imagin what they would add that is not already out there making the older generation conform and enjoy the app. In a lot of ways we see companies that are bought out go down hill due to differetn owners, dfferent visons and that resullts in a loss of a loyal audience. 

Student

I think they are selling out. Snapchat is for the younger crowd and if they change it to older people, it will ruin who they are targeting at first. Snapchat is one of the platforms that I use mostly. If it was change for an older crowd, it will be less intersting for people like myself to use it. I think they would lose thier most loyal audience.

Student

I couldn't agree with you more on this Mitch. I've been using Snapchat since the app first came out, when it consisted of only sending and receiving photos snapchats to friends (no videos, stories, editing of photos, etc.). Currently, along with ever since the app came out, without even having the knowledge of which age group uses it most, if someone is explained what the app's main function and purpose is for, they would easily be able to determine it is for younger people. This is not an app I, or anyone under the age of 30 (maybe 35), can imagine people over that age having or using. Thus, Snapchat is selling out by trying to make it an app to be used by all ages, but it is very understandable because they are just trying to expand their target audience which would inevitably increase revenue. 

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
11/9/2017
New Media