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Instagram is rapidly eating away at Snapchat’s share of new users

Snapchat still has a bigger share of new users in the U.S. — but not for long.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

More new users are signing up for Snapchat than Instagram in the United States — but probably not for long, according to new data from Jumpshot, a marketing analytics company.

In August, 52 percent of new U.S. users signed up for Snapchat, compared to 48 percent for Instagram. The share represents a decline in Snapchat’s new enrollment dominance in the U.S., according to Jumpshot data that tracks clicks on new-user confirmation emails from both platforms (it does not count those who may have confirmed new accounts via text).

Meanwhile, Snapchat represented 38.5 percent of new signups globally compared with Instagram’s 61.5 percent in August.

Snap, though, hasn’t focused on growing international usership, preferring instead to target people in developed nations with robust cellular networks and bigger bank accounts.

Since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, the social photo-sharing platform has seen its usership soar to 700 million monthly active users globally. Snap, which doesn’t disclose monthly active users — considered a key metric in determining user growth — hasn’t seen its daily active users grow as fast as investors would like (it had 173 million daily active users in its Q2 earnings, up 21 percent from a year earlier).

Snapchat has touted its young and devoted user base, but competition from Instagram is making it harder for Snapchat to expand into other age groups. Instagram — and parent Facebook — has been relentlessly copying Snapchat’s features, and it seems to be paying off when it comes to claiming new users.

Jumpshot tracks anonymized data from 100 million global users across platforms who’ve opted in to share their data in exchange for free Avast antivirus software.

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