For the first time this year, Snapchat could be losing users in the UK since the app was redesigned in 2017. A recent eMarketer forecast expects users for Snapchat in the UK to drop to 14.5 million from 14.8 million, a -2.3%. By 2023, usage is expected to decline to 14.1 million.
The redesign caused some of the declines for the platform that took place in 2017 which caused some users to leave in anger and prompted some advertisers and publishers to follow suit over visibility concerns. Instagram has become a significant competitor for the platform after copying a lot of the popular features of the platform.
‘A good number of users on Snapchat did not like how chats and stories were mixed to become confusing. The change, launched in 2017, continued rolling out the whole of last year,’ explains a forecasting analyst at eMarketer, Showmik Podder. ‘The backlash the company received was so severe that it caused it to scale back some changes just a few months of rolling out.’
However, user frustration and backlash did not cause a loss in app users in the UK last year. The usage first grew.
According to the research, the drop in the numbers spanned across different age groups. However, most of those who left were between 12 and 17 years old – 2.7% and 25 to 34-year-olds.
It is not clear whether the ad revenue for Snapchat can handle a redesign and user departure. A decrease in the audience could cause brands and advertisers to consider their media mix on the platform.
In the meantime, Instagram will likely benefit, - getting an 8% growth in the number of users to reach 23.3 million in the next four years.