Somehow, we got used to constantly appearing new social platforms. We try them, short after, forget the password, and finally delete the app. Yet, the chosen ones are staying in our hearts for years: Twitter, Instagram, oh yes, and Facebook. It’s getting too hard to surprise the audience and find a brand-new format to fill up the gaps of our needs.
One of our basic needs is, certainly, communication. Thus, lots of companies are trying to reach out the potential customers in this very sphere. Today we are going to observe the fight between established Social Media superstar - SnapChat and a rising encrypted giant – Telegram. Our utmost goal is to define, who is going to rule in social communications in the coming years and which platform has the best perspectives for businesses. Let’s begin!
ROUND 1: AUDIENCE SIZE
Talking about the popularity of a certain platform, you are destined to speak about their audience size. This parameter, and the dynamics of audience growth can tell the businesses whether the platform is worth using for marketing purposes. SnapChat was recently announced the third most popular platform among millennials. Tech Crunch reports that SnapChat can boast “32.9% penetration on the demographic’s mobile phones, trailing only Instagram (43.1%) and Facebook (75.6%). This data indicates that the app is now more popular than Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Google+ or Tumblr among those aged 18 to 34.”
A total number of monthly active users has reached 1.55 Billion, according to Fortune.com.
As you see, SnapChat statistics look fairly positive: the growth is huge, the army of daily users has topped 100 million, and advertisers are finding it to be attractive. What’s on the other front? Telegram has just celebrated 100 million users monthly, as its founder and CEO, Pavel Durov, tells with zero marketing budget. “Every day, 350,000 new users sign up for Telegram,” Durov said.
Telegram is still behind Facebook Messenger, but it’s actively gaining popularity due to its truly unique features (we will discuss them in a few rounds).Winner: SnapChat! Though the Telegram is making a fascinating progress, the SnapChat remains the unquestioned leader of communication.
READ MORE: BEST SOCIAL MEDIA INFOGRAPHICS OF 2015
ROUND 2: GEOGRAPHY
Talking about the audience, we are obliged to discuss its geography. Basically, the geography is what defines the success of an app among advertisers. You won’t use, let’s say, Chinese network to reach the audience in France. So, where are the biggest fans of SnapChat and Telegram?
SnapChat is a truly global platform, with a massive part of its users located in the U.S, American millennials are forming 30% of all SnapChat fans. As for Telegram, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and multiple SnapChat fails, it gained insane popularity in Western Europe, South Korea (1.71 million users) and Brazil (95,7 million users), not to mention the country of its origin – Russia.
All in all, the Telegram is still behind in the matter of geography, but its trustworthiness is winning the hearts of users. Meanwhile, SnapChat is nearly on every mobile, so from the business point of view, it’s still a preferable choice.
Winner: SnapChat takes the victory in this round as well, yet it doesn’t look as confident as in the previous round.
ROUND 3: PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Welcome to the third round, and it’s promising to be a tough one. Privacy and security of personal information are the significant issues in the current world, this is the reason companies try hard to develop an extreme solution, so even FBI won’t be able to detangle the code (Though, in the case with Apple, they did).
Let’s see how SnapChat is reinsuring the safety of your data. SnapChat came as a revolution, guaranteeing its users the absolute confidentiality of information with disappearing messages. Users were really enjoying the new opportunities of communication that cannot be tracked. Yet the happiness didn’t last long, as more and more rumors regarding the ‘cooperation’ of SnapChat with FBI started to appear.
According to a report released last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the company, unlike most of its peers, does not promise to notify users when the federal government requests data from them. Those requests are not unusual. Over six months, according to Snapchat's first transparency report published in April, it received 375 criminal legal requests for the United States. It complied 92% of the time a rate higher than Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
No wonder, this data is concerning the users. Meanwhile, Telegram seems to guarantee the privacy. It is known that terrorists, preparing to Paris and Brussels attacks, might have been using Telegram for communication. Russian government requested Telegram to open user’s confidential information on the terrorist case. Yet, the founder and CEO, Pavel Durov, rejected and did not agree to break the company’s policy. He explained that he couldn’t know who is using the app.
This case convinced users in absolute safety of information, which app is not sharing with anyone. “According to Telegram, Secret Chats offer end-to-end encryption, leave no trace on the company’s servers, and let you set Snapchat-esque self-destruct timers on messages that range from two seconds to one week. There’s also the ability to check the security of your Secret Chats using an image that serves as an encryption key.” (Source)
Thinking about security issues, we have to admit that Telegram looks better right now due to its flawless reputation.
Winner: Telegram is taking a sure victory with its high-tech security procedures, which earned the trust and love of the audience.
What have we got so far? SnapChat is an apparent leader in the future of socal media with a broad audience and increasing popularity, despite all accusations in tipping off the information to FBI. But the future is not looking all that bright due to several reasons. If the company is not planning to reinforce the security procedures, it can rapidly lose the audience because of the lack of trust. Another reason is a frightening competitor – Telegram, who is a step ahead in matter of confidentiality.
From advertiser’s perspective, SnapChat is still a preferable choice, but business shouldn’t lose sight of Telegram.
What messenger do you use? Where do you believe the future of social media is heading to?