Snapchat's most popular feature is also its oldest, according to a new survey commissioned by entertainment publication Variety and conducted by Defy Media. Snapchat expanded its various formats in recent months, including new syndicated content from entertainment brands in the app's "Discover" section and curated media from users at live events in the "Live Stories" channel, but its core "disappearing" messaging feature is still the most widely used by young users.
Defy Media surveyed 1,117 U.S.-based Snapchat users between the ages of 13 and 24 in February, and 71 percent of respondents said they "only or mostly" use the app to chat and share "Stories," or strings of "snap" messages, with their friends. Almost one-quarter of those surveyed said they use Discover, Live Stories, chat and Stories equally, according to the research. And just 5 percent said they "only or mostly" use the app for Discover, Live Stories or to follow celebrities and brands.
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Snapchat is also the messaging channel of choice for 63 percent of those respondents; 59 percent of them said Snapchat is their primary app for short videos; and 41 percent said Snapchat is the main way they keep tabs on celebrities.
Snapchat users prefer established brands
Snapchat's Discover section has 21 different channels, and Snapchat users view many of the channels managed by older, established brands more often than their newer counterparts, according to the survey. The most popular Discover channel was BuzzFeed (54 percent of respondents), followed by Comedy Central (44 percent), iHeart Radio (32 percent), Food Network (31 percent), ESPN (27 percent) and People (25 percent).
Defy Media also asked Snapchat users what they like most about the app, and 48 percent said they enjoy the story creation feature more than any other. Video chat was next (37 percent), followed by the disappearing snap feature (35 percent), drawing, filters and stickers (34 percent), and friend emojis (32 percent). Snapchat is also still very much the domain of young people, and many users want it to stay that way; 30 percent of respondents said their favorite thing about Snapchat is that their parents don't use it.
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