Boasting nearly 400 million active users (and counting), Snapchat’s popularity—especially among young adults—is undeniable. 

But what is it about the photo- and video-sharing platform that attracts people to it? In other words, why do people use Snapchat? Here’s a look at the top Snapchat uses.

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What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging and social media app known for its distinctive features. An analysis of Snapchat age demographics shows it is especially popular among younger users, with individuals aged between 13 and 24 making up more than half of its user base. 

Snapchat allows people to send messages, photos, and videos, often called "Snaps," to friends or share them publicly as "Stories" that disappear after 24 hours. The app is unique for its focus on temporary content, where Snaps are typically only visible for a short period before being deleted. It also includes features like filters, lenses (augmented reality effects), Bitmoji avatars, and private chats.

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What is Snapchat used for: top reasons


Percentage of active Snapchat users who do the following on the platform

Post or share photos or videos


Message friends and family


Look for funny or entertaining content


Follow or research brands and products


Keep up to date with news and current events


A recent study carried out to answer the question “What is Snapchat used for?” shows that sharing and posting media files like photos and videos tops the list ranking the most popular Snapchat uses.

This is true to the intended nature of the platform, as the creators of the app said their plan was to produce an app that would enable users to share pictures and videos that would disappear once viewed. Today, more than two out of every five (42.4%) Snapchat users say it’s what they use the popular social network for. In this way, it is similar to rival app Instagram, whose top use is to share photos and videos. That said, the percentage of users accessing Instagram to do so is notably higher, at 70.1%.

Why else do people use Snapchat? Second on the list of the top Snapchat uses is related to communication—39% of Snapchatters say they’re on it to message friends and family. This is followed by looking for funny or entertaining content, of which there is plenty on Snapchat. Just over one in three (35.1%) Snapchat users list it as a reason they use the app.

If you’re thinking about marketing on Snapchat, this next popular usage of Snapchat will interest you. More than one-fifth (22.4%) of the app’s active users are on it to follow or research brands and products. Given its millions of users, getting your brand on Snapchat can certainly be an effective way to increase reach and revenue. But before jumping into it, make sure to do research on what countries have the most Snapchat users to find out whether it’s worth marketing on Snapchat.

Keeping up to date on news and current events is also what Snapchat is used for, listed by 21.2% of its users. It’s worth noting that X (formerly known as Twitter) appears to be consumers’ preferred social media platform for this—61.1% of X users say it’s why they use the social network.

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