While other social platforms look to promote their capacity to amplify content, Snapchat is keen to underline the role that it plays in connecting people, and how it facilitates more close communication and engagement among its 400 million daily active users.

To glean more insight into this, Snap recently commissioned the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to conduct research into the role that online communications platforms in interpersonal relationships, among both teens and young adult users.

The NORC team surveyed over 2,000 people, aged 13 to 40, which provides some new insight into how online platforms facilitate connection, and how Snapchat, specifically, drives audience engagement.

First off, the research shows that communication via DM with close friends and family is “a key source of happiness for young people”.

As per Snap:

According to NORC, about two-thirds of young people say direct messaging with family and close friends makes them feel extremely or very happy. This is the only feature of online communications platforms that makes a majority of both teens and young adults happy.

Snapchat NORC study

As you can see in this chart, interacting with friends and family remains an important usage element, with around half of all survey participants using online communications platforms to connect every day.

Snapchat NORC study

That underlines the connective value of messaging platforms, with Snapchat, specifically, playing a key role in this process.

“According to the NORC data, respondents who use Snapchat report higher satisfaction with the quality of friendships and relationships with family than non-Snapchatters. Snapchatters also report positive feelings around creativity and self-expression compared to those who don’t use Snapchat, with 69% of Snapchatters saying they feel like they have a place where they can show their creative side on these platforms, compared to just 58% non-Snapchatters.

The research also shows that direct messaging with friends and family is the element that participants enjoy the most in social apps.

Snapchat NORC study

While messaging is the only aspect that people want to do more of, as they look to cut back on other social platform engagement behaviors.

Snapchat NORC study

The results reflect well on Snap, which has made close friend connection its main focus. Though that also comes with necessary limitations on exposure potential, and thus, advertising opportunity. But the data here underlines the value of Snap as a trusted connective platform, which may also relate to promotions and brand connection in the app.

Essentially, if you can establish connections on Snap, you’re likely to glean more business benefit, as the broader trust and connection with the app fosters more positive engagement.

Which is the real opportunity of Snap ads, and the data here reflects its value and presence.

You can read the full NORC study here.

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