Snapchat and Instagram Usage Soars in APAC as users move Beyond Facebook

Use of social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat has risen sharply in Singapore according to the ‘Connected Life’ study of over 70,000 consumers from global research consultancy, Kantar TNS.

The study found that across the Asia Pacific connected consumers are expanding their use of social media beyond Facebook and testing newer, more visual channels.

According to the report from Kantar TNS:


The number of connected consumers in Singapore using Instagram has been steadily growing year on year, up to 63% from 51% in 2014. This places it third in the regional rankings. Instagram has gained the widest traction in Malaysia, with 73% using the platform to share beautifully edited and curated pictures with followers, followed by Hong Kong with 70%.


Snapchat usage in Singapore is lower, but it is climbing quickly, doubling from 19% to 37% in the space of one year. Regionally, Snapchat has the highest penetration in Hong Kong, with almost half (46%) of internet users on the platform, followed by New Zealand at 39% and Malaysia at 37%.

While young people are the biggest social media users across all platforms, the rise of the ‘Insta-Gran’ is also gaining momentum; a third (33%) of internet users in Singapore aged 55 – 65 now use Instagram. The appeal of in-the-moment photo-sharing is also growing in this group with 10% of those aged 55 – 65 on Snapchat. 


The rise of Instagram and Snapchat highlights how consumers are eagerly adopting visual ways of expressing themselves, as they embrace the ability to capture and share moments.

The rise of these platforms provides brands with new opportunities to target and engage consumers. However, brands need to be mindful of evolving consumer attitudes as they look to take advantage of the diversifying social media landscape. The Connected Life results reveal that one in five (22%) connected consumers in Singapore ‘actively ignore’ social posts or content from brands. Businesses need to avoid being invasive as a quarter (24%) already feel ‘constantly followed’ by online advertising. 

In addition, the Kantar TNS study found that influencers and celebrities hold the key to connecting with consumers. Almost half (40%) online 16 – 24 year olds in Singapore say they trust what people say online about brands more than ‘official’ sources, such as newspapers, brands’ own websites or TV advertisements.

Again, younger people are the more influencer-oriented group, trusting bloggers and peers rather than information from brands. The older generation’s ‘influencer network’ is still primarily friends and family. However, considering this group’s adoption of other trends, they may soon begin to refer to social media influencers for inspiration and information.

Subhashish Dasgupta, Head of Digital, Singapore at Kantar TNS, said:

“Curated platforms like Instagram not only provide brands with access to a global audience, they also deliver the ability to become part of consumer communities and reach people with similar interests. Leveraging these communities and developing their own specialised content allows brands to become a part of the user’s ecosystem and in doing so, develop a more meaningful relationship with the consumer.”

Zoë Lawrence, APAC Digital Director at Kantar TNS, said:

“The rise of Instagram and Snapchat highlights how consumers are eagerly adopting visual ways of expressing themselves, as they embrace the ability to capture and share moments. Importantly, the adoption of these new platforms is incremental – people are using them in addition to Facebook, WhatsApp and other social channels. This provides brands with multiple new channels to engage with consumers in a deeper and more effective way.”

“What’s crucial is that brands no longer look at social channels as blank media space for advertising. The results show that consumers are demanding content that is integrated seamlessly into the platform, enhancing rather than interrupting the use of it. To do this successfully, it’s essential to maintain the brand values of the platform being used. Instagram is a place for highly-curated, enhanced images, whereas Snapchat is raw, in-the-moment and humorous. Brands need to approach each platform individually to ensure the content created mixes seamlessly into the user-generated feed and maintains their own integrity.”

The Staff

The Staff

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