Could Snap overtake Twitter in the race for third place?

A new report on Snap by eMarketer shows that the platform's dominance in other markets has it poised for modest growth.
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In the quest to be crowned the top global social media network, it seems unlikely that any one platform will overtake Facebook.

According to eMarketer’s predictions, by year-end 2019, Facebook will see just under 1.8 billion average monthly users around the globe. Second-place platform Instagram won’t quite reach half of that, with a predicted 804 million users. Third- and fourth-place finishers Snapchat and Twitter’s combined audiences won’t even reach Instagram’s audience, with Snapchat coming in at 297.7 million and taking over Twitter at 283.6 million.

While Snap has been criticized in terms of growth, eMarketer’s research, which took place in November, shows that the only big area of concern for the mobile network is the U.S. According to eMarketer, 27.2% of U.S. internet users are predicted to use it in 2019, up from 25.7% last year and representing a 5.8% increase. This is less than the 7.1% increase it saw last year.

Norway, on the other hand, boasts very high penetration for Snapchat – more than 50% of internet users have used it in the past month – with Australia coming in second at 37.8%. Canada is Snapchat’s tenth-highest market for penetration, with 20% of Canadian internet users using the service.

Norway’s massive smartphone market is credited for Snapchat’s popularity in the country, as well as the fact that older users tend to use the platform more in the country (Snapchat is typically stereotyped as a younger user’s platform). In both Norway and Australia, Snapchat is more popular than Instagram.

Globally, Snapchat will continue to grow, although its growth will gradually slow. It saw 18.4% growth in 2018 and is predicted to grow by an additional 11.3% in 2019, before slowing to an eventual 4.9% growth rate in 2022.

All social networking growth slows naturally as penetration rises, but some more popular networks are persisting better. For example, Instagram grew by 17.7% last year and is expected to fall to 7.4% by 2022.

Snapchat has had its ups and downs on both a Canadian and global level; the platform’s userbase has proven to be somewhat precarious, shying away from the network following its controversial redesign¬†and amidst criticism from high-profile celebrities. Internally, Snap has also struggled, with high-profile exits from its global and Canadian executive team in recent months.