Snapchat to lose users in the UK for the first time this year as Instagram gains ground

    Snapchat’s UK user base will decline for the first time in its history this year in a delayed backlash over its misguided redesign, analysts have predicted.

    This year 14 million people in the UK will use Snapchat, down by 2.3pc from last year, market research company eMarketer has claimed.

    This forecast follows major losses in the US, Snapchat’s biggest market. The social media app saw a decline of five million users between March and September last year as it battled aggressive competition from Facebook and Instagram.

    Analysts predicted that a major decline will come from the app’s main target audience: users aged between 12 and 17 with 2.8pc, followed by users aged between 25 and 34.

    This decline in user figures is set to benefit major rival Instagram, eMarketer claimed, with an 8pc growth in 2019 reaching 21 million users.

    eMarketer forecasting analyst Showmik Podder said: “While it’s too early to tell whether Snapchat’s ad revenues will suffer as a result of the redesign, a declining number of younger users could make advertisers less inclined to spend on the platform if that same audience can be reached elsewhere.”

    Snapchat stemmed its user losses earlier this year, silencing critics who feared it had entered into a “death spiral”.

    The company made $390m (£302m) in revenue in the last three months of 2018, up 36pc from the previous year. It halved losses from $350m to $192m.

    Snap is among a cohort of social media firms criticized by the government and charities for failing to prevent children from being harmed online.

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