US Insights

Snapchat and Instagram usage soar

Claire Davies

Editor and head of content

Social 09.28.2016 / 09:00


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But four in ten American users admit to actively ignoring brands

Kantar TNS’s 2016 Connected Life study reveals a huge increase in usage of Snapchat and Instagram. In the US, 34% of Americans polled are now on Snapchat, compared to 19% in 2014. While Instagram is even more popular:  43% of US respondents say they use it, compared to 29% in 2014.

However, people are sceptical about branded content and ads on Instagram and Snapchat. In the US, 39% of respondents admit to 'actively ignore' content from brands –nearly 15% more than the global average. One three US users admit to feeling ‘constantly followed’ by online advertising and 43% object to the idea of their online behaviour being tracked by brands.



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Despite this scepticism, there is a real opportunity for brands to tap into this trend by creating “personalisable” and shareable content, such as videos and stories. The challenge is how to focus the right content to the right people, on the right platforms and at the right moments. Some brands are getting it spot on – in the past year we’ve seen the likes of Disney, Starbucks and McDonald’s use Snapchat’s filters to engage consumers in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive. This is key to overcoming many people’s fundamental negative perceptions of brand activity online.

Kantar TNS’s Connected Life is a global poll of 70,000 people across 57 countries. The study found that influencers and celebrities hold the key to swaying people’s views of brands. 40% of 16–24 year olds say they trust what people say online about brands more than ‘official’ sources, such as newspapers, brands’ own websites or TV adverts.

While young people are the biggest social media users across all platforms, the rise of the ‘Insta-Gran’ is also gaining momentum. 15% of American internet users aged 55-65 now use Instagram, up from 10% in 2014. While Snapchat usage amongst US internet users aged 55-65 years has increased from 4% in 2014 to 9% in 2016.

Kantar TNS has three top tips for brands to ensure they’re not actively ignored:

1. Get better at creating content which can be used across multiple channels
2. Work hand-in-hand with influencers as trusted sources of information and advice.
3. Get under the skin of what motivates and excites each of their customers.

Source: Kantar TNS


Editor's Notes

Connected Life is a global study of the digital attitudes and behaviours of 70,000 internet users across 57 countries, exploring how technology is transforming the lives of consumers across the world.

For more information please, contact us.

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