Rivalry Between Facebook and Newcomer Snapchat Heats Up

Snapchat users are sending approximately 400 million ‘snaps’ per day, whereas Facebook users are uploading about 350 million photos each day and Instagram users are uploading roughly 55 million photos daily. Snapchat’s 400 million snaps account for both video and photo messages, but it is likely that Snapchat surpasses Facebook on photo volume alone. While some question the validity of Snapchat’s numbers, the company reported 350 million snaps daily in September, up from 200 million in June.

“Video wasn’t introduced to Snapchat until December 2012, and the uploading and transmission of photo messages that disappear remains Snapchat’s main function,” reports Business Insider. “Not to mention, Snapchat has a much smaller user base than Facebook. So as Snapchat grows larger, its heavy activity will probably cause it to shoot way ahead of Facebook on photo volume.”

However, there are some concerns regarding the validity of Snapchat’s success. The issue of Snapchat counting each individual recipient as an upload has stirred some debate, and Snapchat has admitted that 12 percent of messages are sent to multiple recipients.

Another issue relates to the Facebook figure that is being used in the comparison.

“The 350 million photo uploads a day comes from a securities filing earlier this year, and referred to the fourth quarter of 2012. Facebook hasn’t disclosed the number of photo uploads since then and a spokeswoman declined to specify a more-current figure on Tuesday,” explains The Wall Street Journal.

By the third quarter of this year, Facebook stated that its roster of daily active users had grown by 18 percent since the end of last year to 728 million users.

While Snapchat is clearly growing in importance, as evidenced by Facebook’s attempt to acquire it, Snapchat and Facebook are very different in terms of how photos are used.

Debra Aho Williamson, analyst for eMarketer, is averse to comparing the two. She asserts that posting photos on Facebook is “a more thoughtful process,” while posting on Snapchat is “something you do spur of the moment.”