Snapchat’s new AR fitness feature will win over Gen Zers but not millennials

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The news: Snapchat partnered with fitness app Strava to launch a new augmented reality (AR) lens that lets users post interactive visual updates of their fitness activities, per Social Media Today.

How it works: The Strava Activity Lens provides AR overlay options on Snapchat’s camera display, using data from Strava so users share their recent workouts on the Snap Map.

  • Basically, users tap Strava’s lens to take a Snap or post a story using AR overlays to show an exercise route, distance, pace, or other data points.

The problem: Snapchat’s partnership with Strava is meant to attract new demographics—specifically, more 30- to 40-year-old adults, per an interview CEO Evan Spiegel gave to The Verge in September.

  • But Gen Z (ages 10 to 25) dominates Snapchat’s audience, per Insider Intelligence, making up 64.1% of users in 2022.
  • We project Gen Z will account for 69% of all Snapchat users in 2026.
  • Meanwhile, millennial Snapchat users (ages 27 to 42), account for 42% of the audience in 2022, but are expected to drop to just 33.1% in 2026.

The silver lining: Gen Z is serious about fitness and health, and exercising is a big part of their weekly routine. The new AR feature could keep them even more engaged with Snapchat.

  • 48% of Gen Z adults exercise several times a week, and 24% do it several times a month, per recent data from CivicScience.
  • 58% run or jog for fitness weekly and 15% get out monthly.
  • They enjoy outdoor sports like hiking (29%), team sports (29%), and biking (23%).
  • They hit the gym at least once a week (17%) or several times a month (26%).
  • 38% either own or have access to exercise equipment at home and 14% said they planned to buy such equipment soon.

Our take: Snapchat’s on to something with its Strava Activity Lens, and its Gen Z audience will likely latch on to it quickly.

Making inroads with millennials may take more time. They’re beginning to experience some physical effects of aging, which exercise helps to alleviate—and research from previous years shows millennials are big into exercise.

But they’re also different from other generations, per Insider Intelligence, not only in diversity of race and ethnicity, but also family formation and other preferences. Brands can be more effective by targeting this cohort via social groups that share specific identities—like fitness and exercise.

Go deeper: For a closer look at Gen Z and millennial behaviors, check out our Demographic Report: Generational Cohorts 2022.