Snap blasted an eMarketer prediction it would lose US Snapchat users for the first time in 2019, branding the research company’s methodology as flawed.

In a report, eMarketer forecast monthly users will drop 2.8 per cent to 77.5 million, noting the decline reverses its previous expectation that Snapchat’s users would grow 6.6 per cent to 90.4 million.

A Snap representative told Mobile World Live: “The report does not factor in key recent developments at Snap, such as our revamped Android app, or reference our statement in February that we do not anticipate a sequential decline in our daily active user total in Q1 2019.”

“Its user forecast is more than 10 million off from Snap’s publicly-available reach on our ad buying tool; its thesis is narrowly focused on the app redesign from over one year ago; and its methodology draws on self-reported survey data that’s unreliable in our core 13 to 34 year-old demographic.”

eMarketer predicted Snapchat’s user growth is likely to plateau in 2020, with the service expected to add only 600,000 users in the US between 2019 and 2023.

Snap’s resdesigned app faced much backlash, harming its user numbers. It appears a slate of recently-announced new products and original shows may not immediately reverse this, though eMarketer senior analyst Jasmine Enberg was optimistic, stating the updates “may improve user engagement and time spent, particularly among its core young user base.”

But, she also noted “increased competition from new and existing social platforms is partly to blame for Snapchat’s decline”.

eMarketer predicted Snapchat’s share of overall US social network users will stand at 37.9 per cent this year, compared with almost 40 per cent in 2018. Rival Instagram was expected to be the main beneficiary, with user numbers tipped to grow 6.2 per cent year-on-year to 106.7 million in 2019.

The Facebook-owned service is also forecast to add almost 19 million users in the US by 2023.