What authors need to know about Snapchat

If you write for young adults and expect them to see what you’re sharing on Facebook, you’re in for a big surprise.

Teens have abandoned Facebook, partly because people like us are using it.

According to a Pew Research Center study, Facebook is the fourth social network of choice for teens ages 13 to 17, after YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Only 10 percent of the teens surveyed say they use Facebook most often.

When it comes to engaging with others, Snapchat is the place to be for teens.

5 things you need to know about Snapchat

While owner Snap Inc. describes it quite simply as “a new kind of camera,” it’s a multimedia messaging app. One thing that makes it different from other options is that photos users create on the app are only available for a short time. After you open an image a friend sent, the image will disappear.

Will you find your readers there?

Here are five things you need to know about Snapchat.

1. It’s popular.

  • The app claims more than 300 million monthly active users.
  • There are 188 million daily active users.

2. Users are young.

  • 47 percent of U.S. teens consider Snapchat their most important social network:
  • 28 percent of U.S. millennials use it daily.
  • 79 percent of U.S. teens use it.
  • 71 percent of users are younger than 34.
  • In the UK, more than 25 percent of all smartphone users also use it.
  • 50 percent of Norwegian smartphone users are on Snapchat.
  • For the older than 16 crowd, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden have the highest levels of use.

3. More females than males use it.

  • The gender breakdown is 59 percent female, 41 percent male.

4. People use it frequently.

  • 63 percent of users access the app daily.
  • 71 percent of users between 18 and 24 use it several times a day.
  • Active users open the app 25 times a day.

5. Users spend time on the app.

  • People spend an average of 30 minutes on the app daily.
  • Users younger than 25 use the app an average of 40 minutes a day.

Data sources:




Getting started

Snapchat exampleYou’ll find a great deal of helpful information online but if you’d like to take an affordable course, I spent a little time checking out options on Udemy. I looked for courses that have been updated in 2018, reviewed course outlines, and played sample videos.

I selected “How to Use Snapchat for Marketing in 2018” from the handful of choices that seem to be current and appropriate. (That’s an affiliate link.)

You might find “A Guide to Snapchat for People Who Don’t Get Snapchat” offered by The New York Times helpful. “What is Snapchat, how does it work and what is it used for?” also provides good, basic information.

For author-specific information, read the articles “Snapchat for Authors” and “12 Simple Chatchat Post Ideas and Examples.”

I spent a chunk of time going through Snapchat books on Amazon and couldn’t find anything I felt confident recommending. Most are short, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but they also seem to be poorly written and lack reviews.

Do you use Snapchat? What advice can you offer other authors?

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    1. You’re welcome, Wendy! I tried to shorten the learning curve by doing some of the research for you. Enjoy learning!


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