Snapchat Says Its App Makes Users Happy, but Using Facebook and Twitter Leaves Them in a Pit of Misery

Snap and Murphy Research studied why and how people use 5 social networks

Happy was joined on the Snapchat list by other positive emotions including silly, creative, attractive and playful Getty Images

Why do Snapchat users use Snapchat? According to a new study by the messaging application and market-research firm Murphy Research, the answer is simple: It makes them happy.

Snapchat and Murphy surveyed 1,005 app users aged 13 through 44 for the Apposphere study (being a Snapchat user was not required to participate in the study), and they arrived at three key conclusions: People’s moods are impacted by the apps they use; there are specific reasons why users open each app; and each app has its own time and place.

Snap Inc. head of consumer insights Amy Moussavi said of Apposphere, “In a world with so many apps available to us, we wanted to better understand the roles each platform plays in consumers’ lives. Through this research, we learned that each of the apps tested elicits vastly different emotions and experiences in the lives of its users. For instance, 95 percent of Snapchatters say the app makes them feel happy, more than any other app tested.”

Respondents to the survey were asked how often they felt specific emotions when using Snapchat, as well as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, and their answers were used to determine the top attribute index scores for each app.

Happy was joined on the Snapchat list by other positive emotions including silly, creative, attractive and playful.

YouTube and Instagram also yielded mostly positive results, with each of those apps led by inspired.

It was more of a mixed bag for Facebook, which yielded negative emotions including overwhelmed, guilty, isolated and lonely.

And Twitter fared even worse, as its top three attribute index scores were for anxious, isolated and overwhelmed.

Snapchat/Murphy Research

Snapchat and Murphy also asked respondents what they did after opening the five apps they studied, and the top answer for Snapchat was, “Talk to my friends,” with Facebook yielding the same result.

Meanwhile, respondents mostly used Twitter to learn about news and current events, YouTube to learn about topics of interest and Instagram to share photos.

Snapchat/Murphy Research

Respondents were asked when they typically used each app, and Snapchat came out on top for on the go (32 percent, with Facebook at No. 2, 27 percent), commuting (tied with Twitter at 29 percent apiece), traveling (24 percent, with Instagram close behind at 21 percent), hanging out with friends (34 percent, with Instagram placing second at 20 percent), shopping (19 percent, with Twitter following at 14 percent) and social events (14 percent, with Twitter again coming in second at 10 percent).

Snapchat/Murphy Research
Snapchat/Murphy Research

Facebook was respondents’ app of choice while waiting, at 39 percent, with Snapchat close behind (35 percent).

For use at home, Snapchat (66 percent) topped only Twitter (63 percent), coming in behind Facebook (76 percent), YouTube (72 percent) and Instagram (68 percent).

The pecking order was similar for when respondents are unable to sleep, with Facebook leading at 42 percent, followed by Instagram (37 percent), YouTube (31 percent), Snapchat (29 percent) and Twitter (28 percent).

Snapchat/Murphy Research

Murphy vice president Devora Rogers said, “The results of the Apposphere study illustrate that consumers turn to apps for different reasons, including because of the emotions they inspire. Different apps are associated with and drive different emotions—for example, 95 percent of Snapchatters say the app makes them feel happy, more than any other app tested. Users told us they view Snapchat as the platform for happiness, excitement, playfulness and creativity (74 percent for Snap versus 52 percent for Facebook). Whereas other apps like Twitter own feelings around being ‘informed,’ and users associate YouTube with being ‘entertained.’ There are significant opportunities for advertisers to leverage the emotions these apps are associated with for their brand’s benefit.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.