Messaging Apps Match Social Networks for User Engagement

Young People Spend Most Time Per Session on Facebook and Kik

Jan 15, 2015, 11:24 ET from Kik Interactive, Inc.

WATERLOO, Ontario, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published today by Frank N. Magid Associates shows that young Americans are spending as much or more time in messaging apps than on social networks, and that Facebook is losing popularity among teens. The Magid Brand Engagement Research Report, commissioned by Canada-based Kik Interactive, confirms the ascendancy of messaging apps, such as Kik, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger, and shows that people are becoming accustomed to interacting with brands in such apps.

According to the study, messaging apps are keeping users engaged for upwards of half an hour per session. Kik users spend 35 minutes per session in the app, ahead of Facebook Messenger (27 minutes), and Snapchat (21 minutes). Among social networking apps, Facebook and Instagram each keep users engaged for 37 and 27 minutes per session, respectively, and Twitter commands attention for 25 minutes per session. Broken down by age, Kik leads user engagement in the 14-17-year-old and 18-20-year-old demographics, while Facebook leads the 21-25-year-old segment.

The data also shows that Facebook is losing popularity in the 14-17-year-old demographic, with users who stopped using Facebook and Facebook Messenger in the past 12 months explaining, "It's become less important to me" (76 percent), "I'm getting tired of it" (65 percent), and "My friends are using it less" (47 percent).

"Users have become accustomed to interacting with brands on platforms like Facebook and Twitter," said Tero Kuittinen, managing director, Magid Associates. "However, as older social apps struggle with momentum in the youth market, brands are taking a closer look at messenger platforms like Kik and Snapchat, which offer unrestricted organic reach and younger audiences that want to engage with brands."

Other key findings in the study point to growing familiarity with brand interactions in social media or messenger apps:

  • Ninety percent of respondents indicated that they have interacted with a brand on a social media or messenger app.
  • The top three activities between users and brands include "following/liking a brand" (60 percent), "watching a video by a brand" (56 percent), and "reading a post by a brand" (56 percent).
  • Nineteen percent of participants have chatted with a brand directly, with Kik users reporting the highest incidence of direct brand engagement at 26 percent. Snapchat was at 21 percent.

The study also found that Kik users are most receptive to direct brand engagement:

  • Kik users report the highest interest in direct brand engagement (30 percent), followed by Facebook and Snapchat (both 23 percent).
  • Segmenting direct brand engagement by age group, Twitter leads among 14-17-year-olds (14 percent), Instagram leads among 18-20-year-olds (18 percent), and Kik leads among 21-25-year-olds (35 percent).
  • Older users are more receptive to direct brand engagement, with 57 percent of 21-25-year-olds saying social and messenger apps are an important source of brand information, and 45 percent saying they wished they could directly speak with a brand instead of simply following or liking it. The 18-20 age group followed in both categories at 50 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

To download detailed analysis of the data, visit:


Kik and Frank N. Magid Associates conducted an online survey of 1,000 U.S. men and women, ages 14-25, balancing age, gender and race according to the U.S. Census. The survey was fielded between Nov. 12 and Nov. 17. All participants owned smartphones and used at least one of the following social networking apps - Kik, Facebook/Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

About Kik Interactive, Inc.

Kik Interactive, Inc. is the maker of Kik, a username-based smartphone messenger that lets more than 185 million people chat with their friends no matter where they meet. Using Kik's Promoted Chats, brands can engage chatters in one-to-one conversations at scale and measure the results using Kik's management dashboard. Kik is currently a Top 10 App on Google Play and a Top 30 App in the App Store, and continues to grow rapidly with more than 250,000 new users joining every day. Founded in 2009, Kik Interactive, Inc. is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and is funded by Foundation Capital, RRE, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and other leading venture capital firms. For more information, please visit:

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