In the war for hearts, likes, mobiles and selfies, the real battle in the social media sphere is taking place between the rising Snapchat and the incumbent Facebook.
Everyone can remember when social network Facebook was hip. But some of the users today could do with hip replacements as users now typically span three generations.
Still, no one can doubt that Facebook is a mobile colossus with 1.12bn of its 1.35bn users accessing the service via mobile devices. Allied with this, the company has made interesting acquisitions in terms of photo-sharing app Instagram for more than US$1bn and messaging app WhatsApp for an estimated US$19bn.
And now Facebook is growing up with plans to enter the business productivity market with ‘Facebook at Work’, which is tipped for a 15 January launch.
Nipping at Facebook’s heels is the fast-growing mobile messaging app Snapchat, which is estimated to be worth US$10bn and has around 100m monthly active users.
According to statistics posed by Digiday, 50pc of Snapchat users are between 13 and 17 years old.
But Snapchat is not without its share of controversy. Just like Facebook has had legal battles over whose ideas contributed to its creation – remember the Winklevoss twins – Snapchat has had ugly legal battles over ownership involving current CEO Evan Spiegel and co-founder Bobby Murphy and their former Stanford University classmate Reggie Brown, who claims to have conceived the Snapchat concept and designed its logo.
Other awkward battles for Snapchat involve allegations over its contribution to the rise of sexting amongst teens and the company was recently reeling from the high-profile hacking of thousands of user images in a leak dubbed ‘The Snappening’.
Either way, the company intends to fight on and in recent weeks revealed a new service in the US called Snapcash that allows users to send cash to each other via mobile devices.
Comparisons between the Facebook journey and the Snapchat journey have been drawn up in an infographic by digital marketing agency DPFOC.
“Social media is now a huge part of digital marketing and it has really revolutionised the area,” says DPFOC’s managing director in Ireland Eddie O’Driscoll. “Facebook provides an excellent advertising medium with high targeting potential but Snapchat is still in its infancy in this regard.”
Snapchat vs Facebook infographic
Social selfie image via Shutterstock