Don’t really ‘get’ Snapchat? It’s time to get on board. Snapchat announced recently that it’s now serving 10 billion video views per day – that’s two billion more than Facebook. Some seriously impressive growth for a company that started as a simple platform for short-term selfies.
So what is it? Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app which invites users to get creative with what they share. When you send a snap to someone, you choose how long they’ll see it for – anything between one and 10 seconds. Same for the length of videos. This means you’ve gotta be pretty creative with what you send. Users can also save snaps to their ‘story’ – where images and videos are saved for 24 hours and can be viewed by your friends list as many times as they please.
The video element has grown exponentially and is becoming the main way to share information online – when done right, it’s engaging, entertaining and super shareable.
One of the ways Snapchat stays ahead is with constant updates. New features are added daily, including the hilariously pointless ‘filters’ – snap your face and it’ll give you options to turn into a dog, a cake, a zebra, a princess. No, really. These have become almost a cult for millennials – it will only take you five minutes to find a teenager’s Twitter profile photo using a Snapchat filter.
You can also include a location tag, time, date and temperature to a snap. In doing this, Snapchat has established itself as a platform where you can have a conversation without saying a single word.
Writing a Facebook status including where you are, what you’re wearing, what the time is, what the temperature is… takes longer than simply snapping a photo and adding it all in seconds. Yes, this plays up to the lazy millennial stereotype, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for Snapchat and I’m not sorry. I love the fact that in a world where the internet is constantly telling me what I (supposedly) want to see, Snapchat is giving me the opportunity to broadcast my own content – it invites people to become a creator and not just a consumer.
Yes, the platform can seem a bit transient and pointless – but its growth in influence and relevance cannot be denied. Lots of influencers use it and those same influencers will use Snapchat to push any relevant, pre-organised brand promotions. Brands too, albeit ones with money to spend, appear on a ‘discover’ screen with their own videos and article links that change daily. For businesses, Snapchat doesn’t offer an obvious ‘in’ and changes so regularly it can be difficult to plan a strategy that makes best use of the platform but that doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t try.
Millennials love it and keeping on top of what younger demographics are up to can be tricky. Snapchat is an easy way to do that. It isn’t polished or perfect, it’s in the moment and on the go which is a great way to become more relatable and accessible to an audience. Tap into that with your brand and you’ll be laughing.
Want to take Snapchat by storm? Find out how.