Millennials snapping up Snapchat, study finds

ComScore finds 71 percent of Snapchat's user base is between the ages of 18 and 34.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

A look at the age makeup of the top social networks. ComScore

On Snapchat, if you're under 35, you're in good company.

A whopping 71 percent of Snapchat's US-based users are between the ages of 18 and 34, a new study from research firm ComScore shows. That easily topped Facebook and Twitter, which are made up of 38 percent and 41 percent of users in that age group, respectively. Popular Yahoo-owned microblogging service Tumblr wasn't so far behind, with 53 percent of its users falling between the ages of 18 and 34.

Snapchat, which was founded in 2011, is a mobile app that allows users to take photos or videos that automatically self-destruct after a set time. The service was reported last year to have over 100 million users worldwide, but a report in January suggested that it may be closing in on 200 million active users.

Whatever the case, Snapchat is big and continues to grow at a rapid pace due in large part to its younger users. Last year, ComScore reported that Snapchat was the third-most-popular social-media app among people between the ages of 18 and 34, trailing only Facebook and Instagram. That study looked at the cumulative number of users and not the makeup of each company's individual user base.

Snapchat's success hasn't been lost on other companies. In 2013, Facebook reportedly offered the company $3 billion, only to be rebuffed. Last year, Snapchat raised $486 million in a venture-capital deal that valued the company at $10 billion.

Despite that growth, Snapchat has generated little revenue. The company announced in January, however, that it was getting serious about making some cash by serving ads to users from several well-known brands, including CNN, Yahoo News, ESPN, and others. The feature, called Discover, is designed to "build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first" ahead of the actual advertisement.

Snapchat essentially provides a "Discover" page that's updated every 24 hours and includes a list of brands. Users can tap on the items to see full-screen photos and videos and what the company calls "gorgeous advertising."

Still, Snapchat is competing in a hotly contested ad business where marketers have a finite amount of cash. The best way to be successful in generating ad dollars is to be different than others. ComScore's data suggests Snapchat is different and presents viable ad opportunities to companies looking to target younger people.

Not surprisingly, Snapchat's user base is light on seniors. According to ComScore, just 6 percent of Snapchat's users are between the ages of 55 and 64 and 1 percent of its user base comes from the 65-and-older crowd.

Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.