Snapchat Up During COVID-19, Data Shows How User Behavior is Changing

Snapchat gained 11 million daily active users in the first quarter of 2020, bringing the total count to 229 million.

An additional 11 million daily active users (DAUs) represents a 20% increase over last year.

Engagement hit record highs as well.

On average, more than 4 billion Snaps were created each day in Q1 2020.

As people flock to Snapchat to stay in touch amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has published data about how users’ online activity is changing during this time.

Here are some key highlights from the report.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Snapchat Users

Engagement hits all-time highs

By far, people are turning to Snapchat as a way to stay connected with people face-to-face.

Time spent voice and video calling has grown by more than 50% during late March compared to late February.

During the same period, group chat engagement reached an all-time high.

The number of snaps sent between friends reached new highs as well, exceeding Snapchat’s typical peaks on Christmas and other major holidays.

Time spent with Snapchat’s unique features is up

Users are finding new ways to stay occupied on the Snapchat platform.

Time spent with games, AR lenses, and Snapchat shows is all up.

“We’re seeing highly elevated engagement in Snap Games, with our highest figures since launch for overall time spent, player count, and usage of in-game social features like Voice and Chat.”

Users are spending more time playing around with with Snapchat’s various lenses, with usage up 25% during late March compared to late February.

Time spent watching Snapchat Shows is higher than ever, the company says.

In particular, content within the News, Health & Wellness, and Gaming categories are seeing increases in engagement.

What else are Snapchat users doing?

Snapchat released data on what their users are doing off the platform, according to survey and location data gathered in mid-March.

Snapchat users are staying inside:

  • 73% Lower University and School Attendance
  • 29% Fewer Bar Visits
  • 22% Fewer Air Travelers
  • 59% Fewer Music Venue Visitors
  • 41% Fewer Gym Trips

Snapchat users are changing their habits:

  • 62% are streaming more
  • 21% are shopping more
  • 38% are gaming more
  • 23% are ordering more food delivery

Snapchat users are consuming more content:

  • 39% are consuming more online news
  • 39% are watching more TV
  • 29% are spending more time on social media

Ad Revenue Declining

Despite Snapchat usage reaching all-time highs in several categories, ad revenue is down month over month.

Snapchat’s year-over-year growth in ad revenue from January and February reached 58%, which dropped to 25% in March.

As Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel notes, advertising is down due to the pandemic:

“While many advertising budgets declined due to COVID-19, we experienced high revenue growth rates in the first two months of the quarter which offset our lower growth in March.

These high growth rates in the beginning of the quarter reflect our investments in our audience, ad products, and optimization, and give us confidence in our ability to grow revenue over the long term.”

Spiegel remains confident, however, saying the company will shift resources as necessary to better serve advertisers.

Sources: Snapchat (1, 2)