By @TheMarkDalton

What I have been preaching since the start of this year since I started going in on Snapchat is that this is the last bit of calm before the platform really explodes. Get in board now or wait and try get in later.

I have said it over and over again, if you are one of those brands who waits and waits and then eventually gets on Snapchat a year from now, or two years from now, well that is going to be good business for me because brands will be looking for people to show them how its done.

The thing is, and I keep saying it, you can start building your audience and your influence right now. People have called me an undercover Snapchat employee or a Snapchat investor who has a vested interest in seeing Snapchat exceed. No, I simply want your business or brand to take advantage of a platform before it really accelerates into the big time.

Rarely do we see such a large window of opportunity for people to go all in on a platform which is clearly going to be a massive success and still so many of you have sat back and waited to see what happens.

Well Snapchat is about to have a couple of really good years. According to a report from market research firm eMarketer, the company will see huge gains in numbers of users.

Right now Snapchat has about 150 million daily active users worldwide, eMarketer estimates that they will end the year with around 58.6 million monthly users in the U.S. by the end of 2016. Across 2016 Snapchat will have seen growth by 27.2% and an increase of user growth in 2016 and another 13.6% increase in 2017.

The report states that growth will stabilise in 2018 with single digit increases and that the Snapchat audience will be substantially larger than it is today. For a social platform who has overtaken Twitter and is out pacing the competition, this level of growth is massive.

By the end of 2017, Snapchat will have snapped up 217 million users on top of what they have already and will grow substantially with an older demographic. Currently, Snapchat’s demographic is 70% teenagers. Since July this year, data has shown that over 35 year olds are flocking to the app and it is expected that the teenager user base will shrink to 56% by the end of 2020.

It is all good news from Snapchat who must have had some concern with big name rivals trying to copy what they are all about. Snapchat is reportedly eyeing up an IPO in the future but before tackling Wall Street they need to prove they can make money and a lot of it.

At the moment they make money from advertising – sponsored lenses, geofilters and Discover. In order to continue to monetise, Snapchat will need to work on how older users perceive the app with many viewing it as “difficult to use”.

Getting around this barrier could unlock their potential for greater growth and ultimately more money for the company.

So, we are entering the last chance territory I have been talking about for the guts of half a year now. For businesses or brands the choice is now you either jump in now, see what its all about and start establishing yourself and growing an audience.

Or, you can wait and wait until a year or more down the line. If you eventually decide to go in you will find it much much harder to break through as the platform gets saturated with new users in 2017. This is not coming from a Snapchat investor, this is coming from someone who simply wants to see you taking advantage of a great tool to build your brand and ultimately succeed.

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