After 2020’s pandemic-induced bump in social usage, growth in the social media market will settle back down to a more muted level in 2022. That’s to be expected: Once the newcomer, Snapchat celebrated its 10th birthday in 2021—a clear indication that the market has matured.

Here, we look at Snapchat’s user trends, delving into new advertiser and creator opportunities—and how its biggest rival, TikTok, is impacting global growth. 

How many users does Snapchat have?

In 2022, Snapchat will have 493.7 million users worldwide, placing it fourth-largest among the Big Five social networks: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. 29.9% of global Snapchat users are based in Asia-Pacific, with a large majority from India as a result of the country’s TikTok ban. 

Chart showing Snapchat user breakdown by country
By 2022, Snapchat will have 493.7 million users worldwide.

Snapchat’s user statistics

In 2021, Snapchat achieved a 20.9% increase in worldwide users thanks to significant gains in India. Snapchat’s user base in the country grew almost 70% in 2021, to 107 million. User increases will be much slower in the rest of the world, generally in the mid-single-digit percentages in 2022. Still, Snapchat is set to pass an important milestone, surpassing 500 million users in 2024.

The rise of TikTok is especially challenging for Snapchat, where it competes head-to-head for the youth audience. In fact, TikTok’s worldwide user base will exceed Snapchat’s in every world region by the end of 2022, ending with its final market in North America. Currently, Snapchat’s user base is about 60% of TikTok’s and will remain at roughly the same ratio over the next few years.

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Snapchat’s user demographics 

Snapchat has long been hailed as the Gen Z darling, where young social media users could go to escape their parents (who were on Facebook). And as Gen Z grows up, they’re still sticking with the app. Snapchat will remain Gen Z’s most popular social app through 2024, and it won’t be TikTok that replaces it in 2025.

TikTok will overtake Snapchat among 12- to 17-year-old smartphone users in 2024, but because of the even higher penetration rate among 18- to 24-year-olds, Snapchat will remain ahead of TikTok among total Gen Zers.

Marketing and advertising opportunities on Snapchat 

Snapchat’s unique ad opportunities, many of them focused on augmented reality (AR), will make it a platform of choice for marketers that want to use AR to deepen customer engagement and personalize the shopping experience.

Snapchat is rapidly adding social commerce features, with an ads manager platform and bidding tools that are still more advanced than those on TikTok. In May 2022, Snapchat released a suite of AR creation and shopping tools for businesses aimed at simplifying asset creation and giving users more ways to optimize product discovery. New features such as its AR image processing not only gives shoppers a better sense of what a product looks like, but is yet another way to encourage users to interact with a brand.

The company says its AR shopping lenses have been used more than 5 billion times by over 250 million Snapchat users. In addition, as Snapchat looks to make a deeper impact on the development of the metaverse, its AR tools could make it an attractive collaborator for companies looking to establish a retail presence in the digital realm.