Edison Research released its 2016 Infinite Dial digital landscape recently, and it’s amazing. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, do so (it’s free). One of the biggest takeaways: what do we do about Snapchat?

To give some context, let’s look at the 2015 social network awareness among all ages:


We see Facebook, of course, with almost total brand awareness; Twitter and Instagram follow closely behind. What’s amazing is the surge in Snapchat awareness, from 60% to 71% in a year. Awareness, of course, does not necessarily translate into use:


Interesting that 3 of the top 5 networks are visual in nature. What’s stunning, however, is the use of Snapchat in the 12-24 bracket:


Snapchat is the most used social network in the 12-24 bracket, which includes the much-talked about Millennials and the generation after them. Think about that. Snapchat is used more by the 12-24 bracket than Facebook. This explains Snapchat’s year over year explosive growth.

The Snapchat Problem: Measurement

The quandary facing marketers and communicators is this: Snapchat provides almost no meaningful measurement. We can’t manage what we can’t measure. Yet if reaching the 12-24 demographic is important to our business, we cannot afford to ignore it. This crisis results in ill-advised actions such as making your premium real estate Times Square billboard a Snapcode (which doesn’t work at most pedestrian angles):


We need to measure in order to manage. Can we measure Snapchat in any meaningful way, even if the platform doesn’t give us analytics?

Stay tuned. In the next blog post, we’ll examine some ways Snapchat can be measured, with or without their analytics.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


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