How Snapchat used conversational tech to predict Gen Z trends


About Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps for teens and young adults. On average, 190 million people use Snapchat every day globally to message with friends, share about their daily lives, and keep up with news.

The Challenge

To cement its reputation among marketers as a thought leader in Generation Z teens (age 13-17), the company wanted to predict upcoming trends among this group. In particular, Snapchat’s goal was to uncover top trends in music, gaming, sports, shopping, celebrities and other categories leading up to the New Year in 2019. The company has a wealth of user data, but it wanted to engage teens directly as well to get a better understanding of what’s ahead. Traditional online panels were not a great solution as the company found that these had very limited reach among teens.

The Solution

Reach3 Insights used conversational approaches and technologies to talk to thousands of teens. Rather than relying on traditional recruitment methods, Reach3 used next-gen social sampling techniques that engaged teens through relevant online influencers and on popular websites and social media platforms and apps. Short conversational activities (rather than traditional online surveys) were used to engage Gen Z in-the-moment, providing a more organic, enjoyable experience.

Because the research felt like a conversation among friends rather than a boring survey, participants were more open to providing honest, authentic feedback. The combination of innovative recruitment tactics and great user experience resulted to thousands of responses in a matter of days, quickly providing a robust picture of what’s top-of-mind among young consumers.

The Results

Reach3 delivered a comprehensive report to the Snapchat team in less than a week, providing quantitative and qualitative analysis on the attitudes, preferences and expectations of Gen Z consumers for the year ahead. In one example, participants singled out K-pop group BTS and indie artist Billie Eilish as two music acts set to dominate in 2019, as well as identified some up-and-coming stars like NBA Young Boy. Not only did the report reveal top trends, it also provided detailed feedback on the “why” behind those trends and interesting nuances based on gender and age.

Hundreds of open-ended responses provided rich context and colour to data. Snapchat shared top findings from the report on its blog and received media coverage from premium publishers, including Fast Company, Vice, and Social Media Today.