Close to half of Snapchat’s adult audience was aged 35 and older as of December 2016, marking a dramatic change from a year earlier, according to comScore’s latest Cross-Platform Future in Focus report [download page]. The report indicates that 53.4% of the platform’s audience was aged 18-34 in December 2016, down from 76% a year earlier, though that remains the heaviest youth skew of the various platforms measured.
The biggest change has been in the share of audience held by 18-24-year-olds, which dropped from almost half (46.8%) in December 2015 to less than one-third (28.5%) a year later. The 45-54 and 55-64 brackets had the biggest gains in Snapchat user share, collectively growing from 11.2% of the audience to 25.9% share.
In other words, there are almost as many 45-64-year-olds using Snapchat as there are 18-24-year-olds.
To be fair, it’s an incomplete comparison as one age range is much wider than the other. For example, as of last count, the 45-64 bracket comprised 26.1% of the total US population, whereas the 18-24 bracket represented just 9.7% of the population.
Nevertheless, the trends show that Snapchat is becoming more than just a youth platform, though it retains overwhelming popularity among young people.
Indeed, this latest comScore study indicates that Snapchat’s penetration among 18-24-year-olds has reached 78%, more than doubling its penetration (38%) from 3 years earlier. Meanwhile, adoption among older Millennials aged 25-34 has quadruped in that time frame, from 12% to 48%.
So how does Snapchat’s age distribution compare to other social networks? As the below chart demonstrates, it’s now challenged by Tumblr as the most youth-oriented network (at least among adults), as almost half of Tumblr’s audience is aged 18-34. Instagram also has a relatively strong skew towards young adults, while Facebook leans most towards older adults.
For more high-quality data on media audiences, see MarketingCharts’ comprehensive study, US Media Audience Demographics (3rd Edition).