Snapchat’s recent update has caused a bit of a stir.
In the 3.5 years since it launched, Snapchat has acquired 100 million monthly users who send upward of 400 million snaps each day. It’s also taken over Twitter to become the third most popular social media platform (behind Facebook and Instagram).
Anyway, Snapchat has been so successful that in 2013 Facebook tried to buy it for 3 billion dollars. Snapchat’s founders turned the offer down, instead opting to to try and make the app profitable on their own terms.
Smart move – Snapchat is now estimated to be worth 10 billion dollars.
Changes to Snapchat
Last week Snapchat rolled out a new update that included what should be a profitable new feature. It’s been big news on the internet – but not for the reasons you might think.
Three changes to Snapchat
Here we go!
1. Snapcodes: the new way to find and add contacts
They’re not actually called ‘snapcodes’, I made that up.
As far as I know, they haven’t been given a name. But they’re a unique QR code generated for each user, so the name works.
How snapcodes work:
Other users can point their Snapchat camera at your code (you’ll find your code when you hit the ghost at the top of the screen) and tap their screen to instantly find and follow you.
Snapcodes give you a great visual way to share your account on other social media channels (and they mean people can find you with out searching for your username).
2. No best friends
‘Best friends’ was the feature that allowed users to scroll through their contact list and reveal who each contact talks to (shares snaps with) the most.
Underestimating just how many users like to stalk their friends, Snapchat removed this feature in the update. The removal caused a massive uproar on other social media channels, which has kind of overshadowed the launch of their biggest addition to the app.
But being the good listeners they are, Snapchat HQ has since announced it will bring the feature back (so watch this space)
Discover (how you’re now being marketed to)
Arguably Snapchat’s biggest change is the addition of Discover.
Discover is a feature aimed at making the app a major social media contender, and for businesses it’s a major step towards Snapchat becoming a more mainstream marketing platform (like Facebook)
Through partnering up with other content publishers (brands), Discover is a special tab in the app that offers daily content – videos, articles, advertisements – from media channels such as Cosmopolitan, MTV and National Geographic.
It’s a more complicated version of Snapchat’s ‘stories’, if you will: content is only available for 24 hours and is refreshed at the end of each day.
It’s early days for discover, but surely it’s not long before NZ businesses get involved, and it will be interesting to see how it rolls out across different countries.
Auckland radio station 95bFM recently interviewed us about Snapchat Discover
So what do these Snapchat changes mean for businesses?
The Discover feature is big news for businesses.
It has broadened Snapchat’s usability – instead of Snapchat’s users just sending selfies/pictures of their cat to everyone they know, ‘Discover’ means they can use Snapchat in the same way they might, say, Twitter or Instagram: by following individual or business accounts to get news and updates (I mean, who watches the news anymore, right?)
It indicates that Snapchat is becoming a marketing channel for businesses to watch, but it also means that firms will have to become even faster at producing quality content if they’d like to get involved.
Use Snapchat and got something to say about the update?
Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.