It was called the “Snappening” – the vast leak of Snapchat pictures, including thousands of nude images, some of them of under-17s – the app’s main demographic.
Hackers said they had been able to intercept Snapchat photographs for years.
Due to the age of many of the photo messaging app’s users, there had been concerns that the stolen photos would include indecent images of children.
The leak has been severely damaging to Snapchat, perhaps irrevocably. YouGov’s BrandIndex tool reveals the firm’s problem, with our metrics showing the public reaction to the news.
The Buzz metric – which asks whether a respondent has heard something positive or negative about a brand in the past two weeks – is damning for Snapchat.
Its buzz score in the UK has plummeted since the leak, decreasing from 1.2 to minus 9.5 at its lowest point among all respondents. In a key demographic for the app, 18-34 year-olds, it’s an even more serious story – down 25 percentage points to minus 22.9.
YouGov research carried out in March, revealed that 29 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 31 per cent of 25 to 39-year-olds had taken a photo of themselves naked.
Snapchat, clearly, needs to identify the reasons for the leak, act upon them swiftly and make sure that it reassures users that such an event will not happen again.
In an era in which app users can move from one service to another very quickly, falling out of favour with users could be terminal to future growth and revenue.
Whether its popularity among younger users will endure will be crucial in the months ahead.