It is definitely fair to say that amongst the endless see of social media applications that we are currently being exposed to, Snapchat is definitely one of the most popular. The statistics that I have found on the app Snapchat from an American based research project, have given me a lot of useful numbers, percentages, graphs and stats to give me a pretty good general understanding about how popular Snapchat is and more specifically, in which cultural demographics. The research article states that there are 100 million active users and that 400 million “snaps” are sent everyday. And this is just America. Wow. I can’t even begin starting to imagine what the figures would be like in Australia. Possibly a bit less due to our smaller population, but just by watching my 13 year old brother sit there taking 4 snapchats in the space of 5 minutes, I think that could give you a pretty good idea. Another figure states that the main age demographic of Snapchat are young users and that 50% of the users under 24 are aged between 13-17 years old. This statistic doesn’t really shock me, because I know that within our own media spaces, our ages play a big role in which Media outlets we absorb ourselves in. Just like I said in a previous post, WhatsApp was treated like a god when I was in Spain. The statistics of the use of WhatsApp in Spain may show it is very high, but from my own first hand experience, I know that it was so high because it was used as a convenience application.
Now, with the ever so popular Snapchat, we need to start collaborating some of the ethnographic research that has been done to make these reports on media outlets a bit more detailed. Because at the end of the day, numbers are just numbers, but what we really want are trends, behaviours and reasons. With that being said, certain researchers say that the reason that the percentage of young Snapchat users is so high is because it is a pretty unique form of social media. One major factor is that kids do not need internet connection “Kids who use them don’t need a credit card or even a cellphone, just an Internet connection and device such as an iPod Touch or Kindle Fire”. That’s pretty scary considering that most kids do have access nowadays to internet from a personal device. With that being said, this brings up a whole new subject of privacy and online safety for young people with access to media platforms such as Snapchat “it’s time to talk frankly to kids about privacy controls and remind them – again – how nothing in cyberspace every really goes away”. But aside from that point, the main point that I am trying to get across is that these quantitative media reports should include much more ethnographic data. With Snapchat, we can see that young users like it, but they like it because its a new way to connect with their younger peers. Also because they think that the 10 second time limit will allow them to get away with some pretty naughty agendas that they might have. You know exactly what I’m talking about! It is actually quite scary that young people have such free access of Snapchat and use it without a care in the world, but have no idea how easy it can be to get access to these supposed “private” snaps.
Snapchat is just an example, but there are so many reasons behind the use of all the modern day media outlets that we use in this current age. We have all the numbers to give us a “WOW” reaction, but then we are sort of left wondering why and then have to make the assumptions up ourselves.