In the digital age, when companies want to be on the innovative side of marketing, the first place they tend to look is social networking. The up-and-coming platform du jour is definitely Snapchat.
With the market’s desire to share, combined with the ease and simplicity of the interface, Snapchat is skyrocketing in popularity. According to Snapchat, in May 2014, the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day. Other corporations have taken note. According to Forbes, Facebook made an offer to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013, which was instantly declined. So what is it about this app that makes it so valuable?
What is it?
Snapchat was created as a way for users to share images in a more private way. With essentially every other social media outlet having the caveat of permanent content, Snapchat was the first (and basically the only) platform that allows users to share content without the fear of unintended viewers.
The concept attracted youths, because they were able to share content without the fear of parents, professors, or even potential employers seeing the information. Since then, the app has evolved greatly. Quickly after creation, more and more features, like video and the ability to draw on the images, opened up the experience greatly. Creative, clever, and humorous snaps popping up everywhere.
Companies attempted to jump in to increase their branding and advertise options, but it was almost impossible, considering each image had to be individually sent to each user. They could be clever, but it was wildly unrealistic for even the smallest company to connect with its audience.
In October of 2013, Snapchat released a feature that would change the entire experience forever. “My Story” would allow users to share a picture or video to their full contact list for 24 hours that can be viewed as many times as are desired in that time frame. With the opportunity to post multiple times, the limitation of a 10 second view no longer applied, and the entire experience opened up. The pictures and video live together and are combined to create a consecutive, and ideally, cohesive story. Each snap in the story includes a list of everyone who views it. This feature was just another way that individuals were able to express their creative side as well as share their experiences.
On June 17th, Snapchat did it again, and opened up a whole new realm. “Our Story” will allow users to create a collaborative experience with others. This opportunity lets people contribute their pictures and videos to create a group story. The feature was released at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) and changed the individual sharing feature, to an even more social, collaborative experience.
“If you can’t make it to an event, watching Our Story makes you feel like you’re right there!” - blog.snapchat.com
What does it mean for companies?
The biggest problem that many companies have been facing with Snapchat is getting followers. Since Snapchat doesn’t have a feature like Facebook or Twitter does, which would allow users to view who others follow, companies struggle to get the word out about their accounts. Our Story is going to change that.
In order to view the story, the user has to follow the account of the company, in this example EDC. This incentive to get individuals to follow companies could very well change the face of Snapchat.