At Snap, we’re committed to prioritizing the privacy and safety of our community. That’s why we recently commissioned research from KR&I to better understand how privacy influences online behavior among Gen Z and Millennials.
This new research takes a holistic approach to understanding online privacy, accounting for the ways digital environments can enhance the benefits of privacy and defend against threats to it. This report uncovers what privacy means for Snapchatters and Non-Snapchatters alike, how they experience it, and the benefits they receive from it.
The report features findings from a sample of 13,519 daily social app users aged 13-40 in 11 international markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UAE, UK, and USA. We surveyed 500 daily Snapchat users, and 500 non-Snapchat users (never use Snapchat, but use other social and communication apps) in every market. Recruitment in each market was balanced to be nationally representative. Parental consent was required for minors between the ages of 13-17 before participation in the survey.
Key Research Findings
1. Gen Z and Millennials who use communication and social media apps care deeply about online privacy, but not all of them are satisfied with the amount of privacy available to them.
Gen Z and Millennials value privacy, as 81% of respondents consider both general privacy and online privacy to be important. However, only 65% of respondents are actually satisfied with their online privacy.1 Daily Snapchat users are more satisfied with their online privacy (70%) than non-Snapchat users (60%).2
2. Beyond security, privacy offers three distinct kinds of benefits to social app users: relaxation, the freedom to understand and express themselves, and the ability to avoid social judgment.
More than any other benefit, two thirds of respondents experience “relaxing and unwinding” as a benefit of privacy. Globally, users experience more benefits associated with “relaxation” and “understanding and expressing themselves” than with “avoiding social judgment.” Compared to those who don’t use Snapchat, Daily Snapchatters are more likely to experience all three privacy benefits.3
3. Social app users want the platforms they engage with to both care about and protect their online privacy. Their privacy concerns also impact their online behavior.
4. When it comes to privacy, social app users worry most about what happens to the content they create and share and how their information is used.
5. Gen Z and Millennials want more control over what they share and who can see their activity. Features that provide that control — and empower users to take charge of their content — are more effective than privacy policies when it comes to building trust in social apps.
Snapchat is a place where people can freely express themselves, connect with friends and family, and showcase their creativity. Compared to non-Snapchat users, Snapchatters are more likely to enjoy the benefits of privacy that involve self-expression, social interaction, and creative freedom without the fear of social judgment. Snapchatters value apps that make it easy to connect with friends and to creatively tell their own stories — and Snapchat continues to be that place.