It is difficult to read through technology or social media news today without coming across an article (or ten) on Snapchat. Many people are bewildered by the app, what it does and what it can be expected to do in the coming future? The answer is: a lot.
Snapchat, in short, is an app that allows users to create and send “snaps” to their friends. Snaps are photos or short videos that disappear upon being watched. Snaps gained traction with a young crowd early on, which is possible what earned Snapchat the reputation for being a place where throwaway, often-NSFW snaps are created only to vanish within moments.
What was once considered merely an app for teenagers to send silly, disappearing messages has become a giant that worries reigning social media giants. Back in 2011, Facebook attempted to buy Snapchat for $3 billion. Having refused this seemingly huge offer, Snapchat is now valued at a whopping $16 billion. So what changed to make Snapchat so huge?
In addition to its valuation, Snapchat has added a slew of features, including Discover, faces, chat and video. Due to all of these highly interactive features, Snapchat users are now estimated to spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app daily. In addition, Snapchat houses a huge millennial following. It is estimated that 60% of mobile users between ages 13 and 34 are active on Snapchat. This is a huge Millennial user base that cannot be ignored. Not bad for an app that is known for 9 second videos of your friends puking rainbows!
Huge brands like Acura, Taco Bell, NARS and GrubHub have been using Snapchat to engage with their audiences. With all of the tools Snapchat offers- including the ability to doodle on snaps and to add snaps to a 24-hour story- businesses are able to employ new, creative and highly personalized ways to engage with and market to their followers.
Some popular ways businesses and brands use Snapchat to market is by offering sneak peeks to new and upcoming products, behind-the-scenes footage of the business, personalized one-on-one interactions, coupon and giveaway offers and much more. Snapchat offers a degree of personalized content (handwritten snaps!) that other social media apps simply cannot provide. Unlike the often curated and premeditated posts on Instagram, Snapchat offers a casual, in-the-moment interaction that their users love.
More interesting information here, courtesy of Proven, the one stop shop for small business hiring.
Like any social media app, it makes sense to try it out to see how it works for you. Some businesses find great success with Facebook and some find it basically useless. This goes for any business experimenting with social media app. The exciting part about RIGHT NOW is that businesses latching onto Snapchat will still be considered early adopters. It makes sense to learn how it works and find out creative ways to adapt Snapchat to your business!