SNAPCHATTERS AS CONSUMERS: How can an understanding of user interaction on Snapchat guide brands in exploiting the potential for brand representation on Snapchat?

Ann-Charlott Jurlander

Student thesis: Master thesis


Consumers’ activity on social networks has included a need for brands to do the same, and it is no longer a question if consumers join social networks, but what social networks that they are signing up to and why they choose the respective site. Due to social networks being fast moving and brand strategies being outdated rapidly, it is important for brands to proactively and continuously reflect on their strategy. One recent addition to social networks is the “first mobile social networking site”, Snapchat that enables users to interact with friends or family members in a fun, spontaneous and visual way with the content disappearing after it has been viewed. This thesis has examined user interaction on Snapchat by members of Generation Y and Z in relation to drivers to attitude, attitude and behavior. A research model was created based on a theoretical framework of the Reasoned Action Theory, Diffusion of Innovation Theory and Uses and Gratifications Theory. The reasons for combining these theories in the research model were to: (1) identify the drivers to user interaction on Snapchat, (2) identify the attitude among Snapchat users towards interaction with other users and interaction with brands, (3) identify the intention among Snapchat users towards continued interaction with other users, and the start of interaction with brands. By combining the parts, the aim was to shed light on the understanding of user interaction on Snapchat and by this guide brands in exploiting the potential for brand representation on Snapchat. An in depth case study of Snapchat with sixteen semi-structured interviews were performed with respondents being Snapchat users between 15-18 years old and 21-24 years old. The findings indicate that the main drivers to user interaction on Snapchat are: Relative advantage, Complexity, Control, Social Interaction and Entertainment, with secular drivers being Observability and Information. The findings showed that respondents’ attitude towards user interaction with other users is positive and that respondents’ attitude towards interaction with brands is negative among older respondents and neutral among younger respondents. Respondents intend to continue interaction with other users on Snapchat, but only younger respondents intend to start interaction with brands on Snapchat. With most respondents highlighting a need for brands to be present on Snapchat if they target younger consumers, brands should be interested in recognizing the need to reach a higher brand awareness and brand interest among users. Suggestions for theoretical implications, managerial implications and future research are included in the end of the thesis.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages131