Snapchat is so popular in Britain that its advertising revenue will overtake Twitter’s UK revenue in 2019, and revenue from consumer magazine and cinema advertising within two years.
The seven-year old phone app is hugely popular with younger users, and advertisers are beginning to spend increasingly large amounts of their digital ad budgets on targeting its users.
Snapchat’s UK ad revenue growth is forecast to soar from just £21.9m in 2016 to £181.7m next year. Twitter UK will make about £171m in revenues, according to eMarketer, a market research company.
The UK currently accounts for about 10% of Snapchat’s global ad revenues.
By 2020, Snapchat will make about £310m, making it larger than the roughly £300m digital and print ad spend on consumer magazines and a third bigger than the £200m cinema advertising market.
“Snapchat continues to pull in users and, by extension, ad revenues,” said Bill Fisher, UK senior analyst at eMarketer. “An almost doubling of revenues in 2018 is a great result.”
Snapchat has had a rough start to the year after $1bn (£700m) was wiped off its market value following a tweet by Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian clan and one of the first wave of celebrities whose fame grew primarily on Snapchat. She distanced herself from the messaging service, though she later said: “Still love you tho snap … my first love.”
Snapchat’s growth rate is impressive but it remains a minnow next to the might of Facebook, which owns arch-rival social platform Instagram.
Facebook’s dominance will be helped by Instagram, which is forecast to grow from a 4.9% share this year (£636m) to an 8.1% share (£1.25bn) by 2020. By comparison, in 2020 Snapchat is likely to command 2% (£309m) of the UK digital ad market and Twitter just 1.1% (£169m).
But eMarketer says Snapchat will need to grow its appeal to a wider range of users to attract a more diverse range of advertisers.
“While the user base continues to be dominated by younger age groups, Snapchat’s full revenue potential will remain somewhat restricted,” said Fisher.
“And with the financial muscle of Facebook behind Snapchat’s close competitor, Instagram, the company is going to have to work ever harder for those ad dollars.”
The figures from eMarketer also show that the duopoly of Facebook and Google will continue to increase their stranglehold on the UK digital ad market.
This year they will account for 65.8% of the market, and it is forecast that by 2020 this will have grown to 71.6%.