Chart of the Week: Is Instagram (Still) More Popular Than Snapchat?

Snap (aka Snapchat) filed its S-1 last week, signaling that its highly-anticipated IPO is just around the corner. Industry watchers speculate that the big event is likely to happen in early March. While potential investors and tech journalists scrutinize the financials and numbers behind the notoriously secretive company, Verto Analytics looked at another important question: is Snapchat a viable competitor against services like Instagram?

Is Instagram Chipping Away at Snapchat’s User Base?

Instagram has been accused (and at times, has openly admitted) to stealing ideas from Snapchat. On August 2, they released Stories, a clone of the Snapchat feature of the same name. Since then, user engagement on Snapchat has been on the decline. Now, just weeks ahead of Snapchat’s IPO, is the company still appears to be struggling with user numbers. Verto compared Snapchat and Instagram’s user numbers (among U.S. adults, 18 years and older) over the course of the day as well as over the course of one week in January to see which app is attracting the most daily users, and when they’re using the two apps.

Based on Verto data, Instagram is still ahead of Snapchat in the daily user numbers game. On January 15, this difference was especially stark: daily Instagram users peaked at nearly 10 million users at 7pm, compared to just 6 million users on Snapchat at 7pm (all times localized to user). While both Instagram and Snapchat users show clear patterns of hourly use over the course of the day, Instagram’s user base shows consistently higher numbers of users throughout the course of the week, and distinctive spikes in user activity. At certain times of day, this accounts for nearly a twofold difference in user numbers – in Instagram’s favor. And that alone may be worrying news to any potential Snapchat investors as they do their due diligence.

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