In their second quarterly release for 2018, Snap disclosed that for the first time ever, since going public in 2017, there has been a drop in users

The company has dropped 3 million to 188 million users from a previous 191 million. It’s been reported that analysts expected the social platform to gain 2 million users rather than lose them.  Snapchat is not the only platform to have dropped users, with Twitter also reporting a drop in monthly users from “336 million to 335 million”. Following Twitter’s “purge”,  70 million accounts were suspended from the platform resulting in those who had large Twitter followings to see a huge drop in their follower bases. Facebook has also reported that it’s number of users in Europe has also fallen.

User growth has been slowing down and has seem to come to a halt.

So, what has caused this?

Reasons for the slow growth:

  1. Data Protection: Following the new GDPR regulations and Cambridge Analytica scandal, users seem to have lost a sense of trust in social media platforms and how their data is now being handled. Both Facebook and Twitter have been cracking down on accounts that are deemed to be suspicious, fake or that have violated the new regulations.
  2. Spread of Fake News: Users in developed countries are now more aware than ever that what they see and read on social media platforms may not be necessarily true or 100% factually correct.
  3. Public Backlash: Following Snapchat’s controversial redesign and consequential backlash from a number of celebrities, the platform has lost the attention of many users and has been working relentlessly to gain this interest back.

Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have all faced a turbulent few months and a sheer amount of negative press in regards to social media and it’s handling of data.

It’s safe to say these platforms will need to rebuild the trust of many but there is not doubt they will be able to do so.

With Instagram hitting 1 billion monthly users, it’s clear that social media has no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Once the backlash of data protection has settled down and these platforms have regained control and protection of their users’ data, these social media platforms will be able to rebuild trust and loyalty once again.

With social media being such an integral part now of society and offering so many possibilities for businesses, we are really just seeing the start of what these social media platforms can do.

The sheer impact social media has had proves just how powerful it is as a tool and once we’ve learnt how to use it in the right way, the possibilities could be endless.