Should marketers use Snapchat? This post, examining the pros and cons of Snapchat, says “no.”
Clearly, there are both pros and cons of Snapchat. If you want to see more pros of Snapchat, you can find them in this article about making money on Snapchat.
This guide, presented in an interview format, examines the pros and cons of Snapchat from the perspective of marketing experts.
By reading this panel interview, you receive 14 pros and 36 cons of Snapchat. Therefore, after reading this guide, you will know the benefits of Snapchat as well as the problems with the social media site.
I asked social media marketing experts for the advantages and disadvantages of Snapchat while making it clear this article focuses on the cons of Snapchat.
I received 77 responses. The experts’ responses I chose are included here.
There was no rhyme or reason to how I selected the 50% I did. I stopped when the experts repeated answers already shared.
Let’s start examining the pros and cons of Snapchat.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a free social media app for iOS and Android.
One of the features that differentiate Snapchat from other social media sites is the fleeting nature of the content.
Whether you post a message, an image, or a video, your content only appears for a short time.
Recent innovations include your ability to set a timer to determine when your Snap disappears.
Chats disappear unless you save each manually.
There is no record of your conversation in the event you forget. You can manually save each message, but that’s one of the cons of Snapchat.
You don’t have to manually save WhatsApp messages or Facebook Messenger messages.
Snapchat has stories similar to Instagram stories. In fact, Snapchat stories were the forerunner of Instagram stories. Like on Instagram, your stories disappear after 24 hours.
According to Statista’s data, 530 million people use Snapchat in 2021.
As you can see from the screenshot, Snapchat’s userbase is rising. Let’s examine the pros of Snapchat which possibly explains the increase in site use.
Pros of Snapchat
A balanced article on the cons of Snapchat would also share the advantages of Snapchat:
There are many benefits of Snapchat:
Snapchat has marketing potential. For instance, you can show prices.
The filters are amazing. As a result, the site allows for tremendous creativity. However, some of the experts cited below included the filters in the cons of Snapchat section. They feel the filters are so surreal, they skew reality. Therefore, the impressive filters are benefits of Snapchat as well as part of the disadvantages.
Snapchat aims to bring back authenticity and the spontaneity people had with their friends.
Like other social media sites, Snapchat is a free online chat site.
Snapchat never seems to be involved in the controversies plaguing other tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. [Related: You can find more about Twitter controversies here.]
Snapchat has different priorities from other mainstream social media sites. CEO Evan Spiegler believes Snapchat has different core values. He believes in the ephemeral power of conversation.
Snapchat reinvents itself. Spotlight is Snapchat’s attempt to make the website like TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Snapchat’s philosophy is you are not an accumulation of your past. You don’t have a past. You are who you say you are right now (Source).
This focus on instant expression sets Snapchat off from its competitors in the social media space. The founders’ philosophy is human beings are meant to forget. Your past shouldn’t come back to haunt you and ruin your career. [Related Reading: Media Effect on Sports]
Snapchat’s values differ from traditional social media in other ways as well. For instance, the founders believe a picture is more important than a text.
Founder Evan Spiegler wants people to be free to live in the moment.
Augmented Reality comes into play with the app. For instance, you can put an art overlay on a selfie.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Promote an event. One of the biggest advantages of Snapchat is one of its core focuses.
This was to send and receive photos and videos while adding geo-filters so that your media can be located somewhere on the world map.
Anyone within the specific geo-fence can then use the geo-filter and is a great way to promote an event that you’re hosting to get people participating.
Snapchat allows users to make their own personalized geo-filters that can be tailored to suit the event.
Umarah Hussain, https://surgemarketingsolutions.co.uk/
Snapchat beginnings: Snapchat was originally called “Peek-a-boo” and was relevant to sexual activity.
Snapchat rebranded. Has it ever truly broken away from these unsavory beginnings?
By 2016, both Facebook and Google attempted to try to buy Snapchat for billions but CEO Evan Spiegler refused to sell.
In 2016, Snapchat rebranded as Snap Inc., a camera company, and the company launched Spectacles. This made Snap Inc a player in the tech industry.
After its IPO in 2017, Snapchat faced setbacks. The stock price fell sharply, and Pivot podcaster Scott Galloway predicted Snapchat would be dead and gone by the end of 2019. Instead, the stock rebounded in 2019.
Cons of Snapchat
Con 1. You can’t share material outside the platform.
If you’ve ever used other social media or communication apps, you’ve probably noticed that most of them include some sort of ability to share content with your friends or family outside of the site.
However, one of Snapchat’s biggest flaws is that it doesn’t enable users to share information outside of the app.
As a result, if you want to send certain messages or media files to your Snapchat account, you won’t be able to do so.
2. As with any other social networking application, Snapchat is addictive.
I’m not sure whether this is a negative of the app because it’s a trait shared by all engaging or amusing apps ever developed.
Snapchat, on the other hand, is an addictive program due to its functionality, the quality of its communication, and the things you can do with it. Some individuals may see this as a benefit, but when it becomes so pervasive that it interferes with your everyday activities and tempts you to abandon your “Real Life,” it becomes problematic.
3. Snapchat has a 10-second video length limit.
Previously, the duration of videos that could be posted on Snapchat was limited to 10-seconds. They just increased it to 60 seconds, which is still insufficient for some requirements.
So, if you want to share a big video with someone, you’ll have to break it down into 1-minute segments until you’ve shared all you want.
Bram Jansen, https://vpnalert.com
Cons of Snapchat
4. It is not an ideal platform for marketing.
Unlike the advantages of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, Snapchat is not an ideal platform for marketing your business.
The possibilities for establishing and promoting a brand are quite restricted. Self-destructive pictures or movies are released; (they vanish after 24 hours), allowing for limited contact with powerful customers.
5. It becomes expensive for advertisements.
If you operate a business or are a member of an organization, you’ll need a large sum of money if you want to utilize Snapchat for advertising. If you wish to use the Snapchat paid advertisement option, you’ll need a large budget.
It’s crucial to note that this might be a significant burden for small and medium-sized enterprises. As a result, Snapchat appears to be missing out on a wide range of enterprises and industries.
6. It has a video time constraint.
If you want to produce and publish a video, it must be under 10 seconds long. It’s difficult to convey your point in less than 10 seconds. If your material is lengthier, you’ll have no choice except to publish a segmented video. Too many videos can become irritating and distracting.
Hamza Ghayas, https://gsdlovers.com
7. Not great for marketing
Unlike other social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Snapchat is not an ideal platform for product marketing.
In any case, the application’s possibilities for creating a brand are limited. Because the snaps are self-destructive, you only have a brief window to engage with potential clients, and their lack of attention during that window will render your efforts futile.
Senior Network Engineer, https://www.trgdatacenters.com/
8. No advanced analytics tools
When it comes to Snapchat, however, there are no analytics tools available on the app aside from a report of views and screenshots. So, if you’re planning to use the platform to promote your brand or yourself, don’t expect the app to provide you with a detailed report.
Eric Carrell, https://surfshark.com/
9. Snapchat marketing is costly.
If you own a business or are a part of the organization, you’ll need a large sum of money if you want to use Snapchat for advertising. If you wish to use the Snapchat paid advertisement option, you’ll need a large budget.
It’s important to note that this might be a significant burden for small and medium-sized firms. As a result, Snapchat appears to be missing out on a wide range of enterprises and markets.
Timothy Robinson, https://invpn.com
One HUGE Disadvantage of Snapchat
10. Snapchat images self-destruct.
By design, images and other forms of content on Snapchat are set to self-destruct.
In some ways, this is seen as an advantage: It gives users the opportunity to have conversations with each other without a trace.
As a result, people often use this social media over alternatives like Instagram or Facebook to send over sensitive information.
However, there’s a catch: One potential concern when using Snapchat is that the recipient of this information can choose to capture their screen and save the information regardless of the sender’s intentions.
This means that even if the sender wanted the image to self-destruct, it is ultimately up to the recipient to respect their wishes and their privacy.
Given that there is currently no way to prevent the screenshotting of sensitive information, this creates serious privacy concerns. It allows for the spreading of sensitive information to spiral out of control, with no way to monitor where the information has ended up online.
David Batchelor, dialmycalls.com
11. Snapchat has poor social media integration.
Unlike other forms of social media, Snapchat does not allow for the sharing of content on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
In such an interconnected digital age, Snapchat has effectively excommunicated itself, and by extension, its users.
Perhaps this has something to do with the nature of the communications held on Snapchat – they’re set to disappear after 24 hours, so they’re usually confidential in nature.
Accidentally posting something of this sort to a more permanent social media site would present serious breaches in privacy, and users may feel discouraged from using Snapchat if such a mistake were to occur.
Nonetheless, one might argue that users should have the option to do so if they wish.
Otherwise, they run the risk of falling behind social media platforms with more interactivity, such as Instagram.
When compared, Instagram facilitates far more modes of communication than Snapchat. It allows users to like, share, and comment on posts, as well as giving users the opportunity to build a digital library of their own meaningful photos for others to see.
Snapchat is far more oriented towards one-on-one communication, and the jury is out on whether this will fall by the wayside as social media continues to advance and adapt.
David Marshall, https://www.performio.co/
To snap or not to snap?
12. What is peculiar is the fact that people these days can’t go a day without posting what they’re doing.
While I understand the need to make memories, one is often more focused on structuring the most aesthetic Snap than spending time with those around them.
On the map
13. Snap Maps, a feature that shows your friends your location, was introduced recently.
While this may allow parents to keep an eye on their kids, it also opens the gate for anyone on their friend list to be aware of their location. With negative behaviors like stalking and pedophilia on the rise, I believe Snapchat should have thought this feature through one last time.
14. Mirror mirror on the wall.
While everyone loves a good filter now and then, they are damaging to one’s mental wellbeing. We have gotten so used to seeing each other with a Snapchat filter that we often forget that real humans don’t look like that.
This reinforces the idea that humans are supposed to look a certain way, and CAN look this way at all times. Using a filter is all fun and games until we start to internalize the beauty standards they perpetuate. Ultimately, this internalization can take a toll on one’s mental health.
Related Reading: Social Media is Toxic [7 Ways to Make Things Better in 2021]
Patti Naiser, https://seniorht.com
15. The demographic of Snapchat is limited.
Let’s look at some stats: Even though there are over 280 million daily active Snapchat users, according to Omnicore Agency, the reach is still fairly limited on account of their target demographic.
Their average user is between the ages of 12 and 34, and this does not come as a surprise.
Older individuals are less likely to use Snapchat – partially because of their upbringing, but more
crucially because their social status is not contingent on their social media usage.
This differs greatly from younger users who typically have a lot more free time, and use the platform as a means to stay in touch with friends and remain in constant communication.
All in all, this means that using Snapchat for marketing would effectively disqualify a lot of older users from your audience.
Businesses should think twice before conducting outreach and marketing on the platform if they’re looking to encapsulate as large an audience as possible.
Related Reading: Disadvantages of Social Media for Business
Paul Sherman, https://olive.com
16. Even though Snapchat has always been considered a tech disruptor in some ways, it often doesn’t offer much when it comes to social media marketing.
This is why a large number of marketers, me included, have actively stayed off the platform for as long as it’s been around.
The first major disadvantage, especially if you’re looking at it from a marketer’s point of view, is Snapchat’s target demographic. Most Snapchat users are teenagers or people in their early 20s.
Traditionally, this is a low-buy-in demographic. Unless you have a product specifically made for the age group, it’s hard to get any traction through Snapchat.
Alina Clark, www.cocodoc.com
Disadvantages of Snapchat
17. Like, Comment, Share! Or Not
Snapchat doesn’t allow for re-sharing of videos, rather, a lot of people resort to screen recording, which very much ruins the quality of the video.
Thus it’s heavily dependent on the content creator to save and publish the video elsewhere for it to be saved.
Since the app boasts 400 million users worldwide, you would think the app creators would push for a reshare button to increase engagement!
18. Battle of the Apps
Instagram and Snapchat seem to have a similar aim, to focus on being a video-content app that influencers and content creators can post media to showcase to the world.
So does this mean users will abandon one app to utilize the other more? There’s a lot of competition from both sides, especially as Instagram is seeking to drive competition and take up a larger space in the video-content app space.
Umarah Hussain, https://surgemarketingsolutions.co.uk/
Disadvantages of Snapchat
In my opinion, there are more cons of Snapchat than pros for marketers.
Here are some of the main cons of Snapchat:
19. Limited user engagement
There is no way to know if your Snap Ads videos are actually being watched. A view from a user does not mean they watched your video. They could have skipped right over it.
20. Time Constraints
If your content is longer, you will have to post multiple videos and you will have to present a very clear point upfront. If you make too many videos, you may lose your audience’s attention and become annoying.
Snapchat videos and pictures are also deleted after 24 hours. There is no way to get that content back after those 24 hours.
21. Limited Interaction
Today, our lives revolve around technology, both personally and professionally. You can use Snapchat to give your followers an inside look at your business and to interact with them on a personal level, but it offers limited ways to interact with them.
Knowing the pros and cons of Snapchat for business, you can decide if it’s worth implementing in your social media marketing strategy.
Bogdan Krstic, https://repairsprout.com/
22. Arranging marketing events is difficult.
Snapchat’s greatest advantage is its self-destruct function. This piques other users’ interest, encouraging them to check out your products and services. Users like the idea of having their shared photographs and videos wiped after a short period, which is different from other apps.
This is also its most significant disadvantage. It leaves no trace of anything you communicated after it self-destructs. You’ll need to make a copy and post it multiple times for others to see it. In addition, taking a screenshot of the content shared through Snapchat is the only way to reshare it.
Unlike other social networking networks, the app does not allow you to share content with others. It’s tough to arrange activities, form networks, or involve a community when this happens.
Brian Dordevic, https://alphaefficiency.com/
Snapchat is a social media platform to share pics, videos, and chat. It is derived from two different words ‘snap’ and ‘chat’. Now it has voice and video calling features as well as amazing filters to use during seamless video calling on the app. The audience and users here are from 12-34 years of age. It has so many images and video editing options that are very easy to use.
Pros of Snapchat
Account creation is very easy on the app and there is no issue of leaking any private details.
You never have to worry about your pictures or videos being posted because they will disappear in a day unless you save them personally.
Cons of Snapchat
23. Actually, the platform should stop users from taking any screenshots or video recordings instead of just giving a notification to reduce any type of criminal activity.
24. When it comes to paid advertisements running ads on Snapchat is too costly. Ads start from $10,000 per month.
Hasnain Khokhawala, http://www.technographx.com
Snapchat’s Userbase Is Strict
Snapchat has undeniably captured the hearts of young adults, but it isn’t gaining traction among seniors. It is expected to successfully target people between the ages of 12 and 34. As a result, Snapchat will need to expand its reach in order to attract and engage larger audiences.
For a maximum of 24 hours, your Snapchat community can see your stories or content. This means that your shared moments will be automatically deleted after 24 hours. This is what we refer to as Snapchat’s self-destructive nature.
If you’re solely focused on marketing, you’ll need to create and share new and engaging content every day for your followers. Otherwise, your content or message may easily be washed away from your target audience’s minds.
Edward Shaw, https://leelinesourcing.com
25. Snapchat has a privacy issue.
The company uses third-party apps like Facebook to bring in more advertising revenue. In addition to that, advertisers can link a user’s Snapchat account with their phone number and use it for other marketing purposes without notifying the user.
This is another disadvantage of using Snapchat because it violates privacy, and this information could be sold or given out without notification or permission from the user.
26. Snapchat does not have any in-video ads.
This is an advantage for users because they can watch videos without the interruption of an advertisement. On the other hand, this is a disadvantage to Snapchat because they are missing potential revenue sources. Although this may happen with other social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat may receive less revenue due to its small audience compared to Facebook’s large audience.
Besides the lack of video ads on Snapchat, the other advantage was that you could delete sent messages on your own. However, recently, they have added a feature called “un-deletable messages” to some users, which will be deleted after viewing them.
This is an advantage for users because it can help them avoid sending embarrassing or regretful messages; however, it is a disadvantage for Snapchat because there will be more inappropriate and wrong usage of this feature.
Katherine Brown, https://spyic.com/
27. The majority of Snapchat material is worthless.
What people post on Snapchat is best described as internet pollution. For instance, you’ll see photos and videos of individuals putting on new clothing, singing on a road trip, and shooting selfies after selfies.
The majority of app users post material that enables them to interact with family and friends in a manner that allows everyone to see aspects of daily life. If you aren’t interested in that kind of material, Snapchat may seem to be a complete waste of time.
Jennifer Foster, https://www.authorityastrology.com/
28. Snapchat jeopardizes your health.
Snapchat Is rather addictive Snapchatters will stay glued to their phones for hours on end just to learn the ins and outs of the app.
People continue to use this app because the filters are updated and new filters are added on a regular basis. They never get bored because they keep trying out different filters to see which one best suits their preferences. Addiction to this social media platform is stressful because it puts your health in jeopardy.
Erin Zadoorian, https://ministryofhemp.com/
More Cons of Snapchat
29. Snapchat struggles for relevance.
30. Instagram stories are better than Snapchat stories.
31. Snapchat’s filters could skew concepts of reality.
32. Clickbait sites reign on Snapchat. This turns people off to using the app.
33. Users expect Snapchat’s content to disappear quickly, but there’s no guarantee.
If the point of Snapchat is for content to disappear in a “snap,” the ability of someone to take a screenshot seems like one of the cons of Snapchat. However, Olivia Tan points out that Snapchat alerts you if someone tries to take a screenshot of your content.
34. Snapchat’s growth goes in waves but isn’t stable. The same with Snapchat’s popularity. In June 2021, Eric Sui reported that short videos on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are growing in popularity but not on Snapchat.
35. Karan Singh lost all his followers on Snapchat after Stories were replicated on Instagram. People flocked to Instagram.
36. Snapchat was involved in a scandal. On June 4, 2021, a news report revealed parents are fearing Snapchat is being used to deal drugs to teenagers. In Santa Monica in front of Snapchat’s unmarked headquarters, parents protested.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Wrapping Up: Pros and Cons of Snapchat
Did you notice any overlap among the experts? I did.
Many shared the same cons of Snapchat:
- Snapchat doesn’t offer social media sharing.
- Snapchat doesn’t offer analytics.
- Snapchat doesn’t offer opportunities for networking.
- Snapchat’s videos have time restrictions.
- Snapchat’s filters present an alternate view of reality.
Readers, please share so social media marketers discover the cons of Snapchat for marketing potential.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you know any additional cons of Snapchat?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2021 and 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.