Snapchat, a photo-based mobile application, is one of the newer social sites available. It follows closely behind Facebook and Instagram in the top five of the most popular social sites available today. In fact, a recent $200 million investment from Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has bolstered Snapchat’s estimated net worth to $15 billion. The mobile app also added a new feature called Discover, allowing users a new way to explore stories and control more of what they want to see.
Given all this, I think it's safe to say that Snapchat is here to stay... for now. Let's explore who's using it, what makes it special and its marketing application in the business world.
Snapchat has an estimated 100 million+ active monthly users, which is a little more than a third of the current active Twitter users (288 million). A wide majority of users are between the ages of 18 and 24 and approximately seventy percent are female.
Snapchat allows users to create their own community of friends just like Facebook. A defining characteristic of the app is the limited availability of photos or videos. Users can send photos to friends with a maximum viewing availability of 10 seconds. Once the message is received and opened, it cannot be viewed again. Snapchat notifies users when someone viewed a picture and when someone takes screenshot of your photo (we'll explain the relevance of this shortly).
If you're wondering how Snapchat could be used for business, I see a lot of engagement opportunities, especially if your business serves female millennials. For example, if you own a taco stand, you can send out a 'snap' (photo) to customers promising a free taco if they show you a screenshot of the snap.
Our attention spans are shorter now than they've ever been, with the latest research showing that we have less than seven seconds to grab someone's attention. I find that psychology appealing.
I have to admit that when I first heard about Snapchat, I didn’t understand the point. It seemed ridiculous to view something for a few seconds. Pictures are a keepsake. But, having used the app for awhile now, I find it that it manages to get the point across with those 10 seconds.
Being the mother of a toddler, I love being able to send videos or pictures of her shenanigans to my closest friends and family members. And I like that the pictures are private enough that they're not on display for the whole world.
As they say, don't knock it until you try it!
Would these features entice you to embrace Snapchat?