Snapchat has become a force to be reckoned with for both consumers and digital marketers. Snapchat’s app, available on both iOS and Android devices, started out as a way for people to take and send “throwaway” photos that only last a few seconds on the recipient’s device.

From these modest beginnings, Snapchat added functionality that let users add photo filters, stickers, and drawings to their snaps, as well as send temporary text messages, add augmented reality decorations, and take 10-second video clips.

Over 170 million people use Snapchat everyday to communicate with friends, take silly selfies, and even watch events unfold around the world. They’re also interacting with digital marketing on the app — like Amazon and Taco Bell. [5]

With all the buzz about Snapchat being the newest digital marketing frontier, we got to wondering just what happens in a Snapchat minute and what does it mean for small business marketing?

Snapchat Fast Facts

Snapchat was founded in September 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy while they studied at Stanford University. The company launched its NASDAQ IPO in March 2017, at $24 per share.

What happens in a snapchat minute

Every minute:

  • The CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, earns $4.60 [7]
  • Snapchat pays 0.05% of a cent per user for server hosting fees [7]
  • Snapchat spends $149.69 on capital expenditures [7]
  • Snapchat earns $1,278.24 in revenue. [7]

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat started out as a camera app but has recently morphed into a social app. Users create “Snaps,” which can be photos, text messages, or video clips.

What is Snapchat?

Snaps can be collected together in “Stories.” Businesses can become Publishers by creating Sponsored Stories, offering fun new Lenses, and tagging Geofilters at their locations.

  • 2,083,333 Snaps are sent per minute / 34,722 per second [1]
  • 6,944,444 videos are watched per minute [1]
  • 90% of videos will be vertical [2]
  • 30,035 users will post Snapchat Stories [6]
  • Average user creates 20+ snaps each day [6]
  • 20K+ photos are shared each second. [6]

How Long Do Snaps Last?

Each Snap is temporary. It only lasts a short amount of time after a recipient opens it, which is part of the reason users say they love the app.

  • Snaps are photos, videos, and text chats are deleted on recipient’s device after viewing [3]
  • My Story is a string of Snaps that you make available for 24 hours after they’re added [3]
  • Memories are Snaps that you store privately last as long as you like [3]
  • Unopened Snaps are deleted from the Snapchat’s servers after 30 days. [3]

Who Uses Snapchat?

For small businesses, Snapchat has the potential to be a goldmine since its largest group of users are teens and young adults. Not surprisingly, large companies have also gotten into the game by reaching their customers with Publisher Stories and Shows.

Who uses Snapchat?

Of Snapchat’s 173 million daily active users [1]:

  • 43% are from North America [1]
  • 33% are in Europe [1]
  • 24% are from the rest of the world [1]
  • The average user will spend 30 minutes on Snapchat each day, checking it 18 times [1]
  • Users under age 25 will spend 40 minutes each day on Snapchat [6]
  • Snapchat reaches 11% of the total US digital population, and 30% of all US millennials are on Snapchat [6]
  • In the UK, 25% of all smartphone users are on Snapchat [6]
  • A whopping 50% of Norwegians use Snapchat. [6]

Every minute, an average of 16.5 new users join Snapchat. Of those new users:

  • 7.4 are age 18-24 [6]
  • 11.7 are under age 34 [6]
  • 11.6 are female. [6]

Why Do Young People Say They Like Snapchat?

  • 35% of Snapchat users use it because their content disappears [1]
  • 30% of Snapchat users say they like it because their parents don’t use it. [1]

How Consumers Use Snapchat

People are taking and receiving Snaps just about everywhere. If you can take a picture with your camera and you’ve got an internet connection, you can send a Snap.

How consumers use Snapchat

Every minute:

  • 1,666,666 Snaps are taken at a restaurant [4]
  • 1,375,000 Snaps are taken at a shopping mall [4]
  • 1,041,667 Snaps are taken at a gym [4]
  • 1,020,833 Snaps are taken at the airport [4]
  • 11% of drivers check Snapchat while operating their vehicle [1]
  • 16% of heads of state use Snapchat. [1]

Marketing With Snapchat

Small businesses can take a cue from larger companies who are having success with Snapchat in their marketing and advertising by creating fun, shareable content aimed at younger audiences they can’t otherwise reach. Snapchat’s exclusivity is unique: Snaps must be created in the mobile app, so content can’t be easily cross-posted (for example, from Facebook).

In one Snapchat minute:

  • 11,111 people see Snapchat’s Sponsored Lenses [2]
  • Snapchat will earn about $1,530 in ad revenue in the US, up from $662 in 2016 [8]
  • $463 will come from Discovered Ads [8]
  • $578 will come from Live Stories [8]
  • $312 will come from Sponsored Lenses [8]
  • $177 will come from Sponsored Geofilters [8]
  • Brands will spend about $520 on Snapchat ads. [2]

What Advertising Techniques Do Businesses Use With Snapchat?

The ways your business can use Snapchat to advertise are limited only by your imagination. Chances are, if you can dream up an idea that uses photos, short videos, augmented reality, or curated content, Snapchat probably has an ad for that. And if your idea hasn’t been tried before, try it anyway!

Businesses can:

  • Post short videos to create a story about a brand
  • Feature Snaps from customers to paint a psychographic and demographic portrait, or feature product usage
  • Engage with their customers via text messages and video calls
  • Showcase cameos from celebrities
  • Partner with social media influencers
  • Run promotional campaigns
  • Offer sharable Snaps that users can send to each other
  • Provide fun Sponsored Lenses that add augmented reality to Snaps
  • Create Geofilters that nearby users can overlay onto their Snaps
  • Advertise for job openings.

Hootsuite offers a complete guide on getting started with Snapchat ads.

Snapchat Marketing Case Studies

Snapchat marketing case studies

Taco Bell was the first brand to join Snapchat. Taco Bell’s Stories feature lighthearted and humorous content that appeals to their young demographic.

Amazon launched its Snapchat channel on Black Friday, offering deals that customers couldn’t get elsewhere on its site.

FeatSocks is a hip company that sells, you guessed it, socks. They use Snapchat Stories to keep their young customers informed of new products and promotions, as well as featuring young social media influencers.


While Snapchat has experienced its fair share of growing pains, the platform’s audience growth remains strong, particularly among younger users. As the company adds new features to its app, both consumers and businesses find even more ways to use Snapchat. As we’ve shown, there’s already a lot going on with Snapchat, minute by minute.

Snapchat is also a boon for digital marketing, especially for small businesses lacking the luxury of large marketing budgets. Snapchat’s platform makes it easier for small businesses to compete with their larger counterparts around the globe.