INSIGHT – Do the over 30s now prefer Snapchat to Facebook?

The first time that we heard about Snapchat, like everyone else, we said to our friend, ‘But what’s the point in an app where you just send pictures for them to be deleted after five seconds?’ With the photo-sharing app revealing in May that users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day, how wrong were we to judge it so quick?

Before you start to think it’s just teenagers sending five-second snaps to their friends, there are a lot more over 30s using the app than people are aware of, and no, they’re not just using Snapchat for the obvious either (you naughty lot!)

A recent survey of 127 adult Snapchat users, found that, while most of the users were between the ages of 18 and 24, 14.2 percent fell into the 25-to-34 age bracket, while a surprising 1.6 percent were between 55 and 64! While the app has a reputation for being THE app for sexting, the study found, that, in fact, most of its users — almost two-thirds — said they use it primarily for ‘sending funny things.’

So, what do the over-30s use Snapchat for, and why do they choose to use it over other social media sites, like Facebook?

One Snapchat user, Hannah Rainford, has been using the app for over a year in order to take selfies to send to close friends, especially when she’s in an interesting location.

The 30-year-old told us: ‘I went on holiday to Morzine recently and I Snapchatted a picture of myself with a mountain as the background and sent it to my friends.’

So why does she use it over Instagram?

Hannah said: ‘I don’t want my Instagram to be plastered with selfies like a teenager. Snapchat allows me to take selfies and send them out in a disposable way!’

Twitter user, Jenny Scott told us that, like younger Snapchat users, her friends use it to send selfies where they’re pulling funny faces, along with drawing over the picture – something that you aren’t able to do on other apps, such as Instagram or Facebook. However, what was interesting was that she said her friends send Snapchats of their children too, which is something most teenagers probably wouldn’t do (unless they had children).

Since Snapchat launched Stories, the way that people use the app has changed quite dramatically too. I’ve noticed myself that more and more people are beginning to post loads of pictures and videos to their Story, so that everyone can see it, rather than just sending an ugly selfie to one particular friend. Stories tend to be used for people to brag about a festival or a night out, which I’m definitely guilty of doing.

Our writer, Craig Fox, agreed with me, saying he uses the app to form stories if he has ‘a day or night of fun’.

He added: “I tend to use every social media site for different things. I use Instagram for more professional shots, anything goes (to a limit) on Facebook and Snapchat is just sometimes easier to use, as it’s quite fast to send a picture out.”

However, there are still some users over the age of 30 who have decided Snapchat just isn’t for them. Simon Apps deleted the app yesterday, having come to the decision that he’d rather his pictures live on, rather than be deleted after a few seconds, so has chosen to stick to Apple Shared Streams.

It does seem that Snapchat isn’t just for teens, and, for some reason, has an inaccurate reputation for the way it’s used. Really, Snapchat is just a bit of fun and a way of showing off our lives, much like Facebook, but with a lot less effort, so it’s no wonder why it’s become so popular with people over the age of 30.

Hayley Minn