First they came for Facebook and Facebook became a graveyard of baby photos. Now the olds are coming for Snapchat and we’re about to see how long it will take before it, too, becomes majorly uncool.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 14 per cent of US smartphone users over the geriatric age of 35 are on Snapchat. This is up from two per cent three years ago, back when everyone thought Snapchat was only for teens who wanted to sext.
Similarly, 38 per cent of smartphone users ages 25 to 34 are on the app, compared to only five per cent three years ago. A quick look at all those guides to Snapchat for the mystified older set will confirm the trend, and on Twitter, it’s clear that some people are not happy.
Still, attracting old people is not always the kiss of death. Though Mark Zuckerberg said that “coolness is done for us” after the great teen exodus from Facebook a few years ago, the company still made a $US3.7 billion ($4.9 billion) profit last year.
While Snapchat does need teens to bring in big advertising dollars, it’s possible that the influx of older people won’t drive away younger ones too quickly. Unlike Facebook, where you have to scroll through your feed of feuding relatives and long political rants, Snapchat is more closed off and based more on individual snaps.
A Snapchat spokesperson said that the community “enjoys having their parents on Snapchat”. This is what the son of a 56-year-old freelance writer who recently joined Snapchat had to say about his mum being on the app: “It’s weird.”