Hong Kong’s snap happy users make city Snapchat’s No. 1 market in Asia

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 6:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 6:54pm

Snapchat is gaining popularity in Hong Kong as an older audience join the traditional teenage user base for the social media app, allowing them to send photogaphs that disappear after viewing, a survey has found.

As many as 46 per cent of Hong Kong’s Internet users report using the app, making the city the number one market in the Asia-Pacific for Snapchat, according to a survey. Last year, 19 per cent of Internet users reported using the app.

Instagram has the largest penetration of Internet users, with 70 per cent of consumers reporting usage, according to Kantar TNS’ The Connected Life study of 70,000 internet users across 57 countries. That makes Hong Kong the second biggest Asian market for Instagram, behind Malaysia. Snapchat is catching up in terms of user numbers, according to the survey.

“Hong Kong people are very open and quick to adopt new trends, regardless of their age, and the study confirms that this is also true of new social media platforms,” William Choi, associate director, Hong Kong for Kantar TNS, said.

The survey found internet users are expanding their use of social media beyond Facebook to try out apps focusing on visual elements.

Founded in 2011 and popular among teenagers and young people, Snapchat has 150 million daily active users drawn in by filters that super impose dog ears or a flower crown on self portraits.

Snapchat is now valued at US$16 billion and is drawing interest from advertisers keen to reach younger audiences.

However, advertisers need to be more clever with their approach on social networks, the Kantar TNS study found, as one in five Hong Kong internet users ‘actively ignore’ content from brands.

Snapchat is increasingly attracting an older audience with 37.8 per cent of smartphone users aged 25 to 34 in the United States using the app, against 67.5 per cent of those aged 18 to 24, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While the survey found young people are the biggest users of social media across all platforms, 44 per cent of internet users in Hong Kong aged from 55 to 65 now use Instagram, a demographic Kantar refers to as the ‘Insta-Gran’.

“We’ve seen the rise of Pokemon Go, and witnessed many of the older generation catching Pokemon on the street,” Choi said. “It’s clear that the digital divide between generations is closing, and brands need to be conscious of these changes when considering how they target demographics.”