A new survey has cast serious doubts on whether Snap Inc., the maker of the Snapchat messaging app, has much chance of remaining successful in the future.
The survey, undertaken by marketing firm Fluent, found that nearly half of all American adults think that Snapchat is “just a fad,” while 62 percent of existing Snapchat users believe that a better app will come out that they will use instead of Snapchat.
Proving once again that users of the service skew younger, the survey found that 63 percent of American adults aged 18 to 24 are Snapchat users. The number drops to 40 percent for those aged 25 to 34, but those same users said that they didn’t believe they would be using Snapchat as they grow older. Two-thirds said they would likely be still using the app in five years, while 55 percent said they don’t believe they will use the app after they turn 35.
Snap’s great hope to grow its revenues using advertising is not resonating with Snapchat users either, with 69 percent of those surveyed saying that they skip ads on Snapchat “always” or “often,” increasing to 80 percent among 18- to 24-year-olds. Attempts to promote commercial interests on Snapchat fair no better, with the majority of users saying they don’t follow news, sports, or entertainment accounts.
Snap stated among risk factors in its IPO filing that its user numbers may permanently stagnate or decline in part because of users engaging with competing products. But how many users they could lose has been the unknown factor. Although any survey only polls a small number of users, if accurate, these figures bode ill for Snap’s prospects.
To its credit, Snap actually did honestly address its losses when it said, “We have incurred operating losses in the past, expect to incur operating losses in the future, and may never achieve or maintain profitability.” Now it will be up to investors to decide whether that state of affairs will turn around or not.