For Snapchat, it has been an uphill battle to help brands engage with their audience on the platform. One of the major issues for brands was trying to find their audience. Pulling followers from contact lists and invites seemed disingenuous, and didn’t seem worth it for the potential marketing value.
However, these new updates from Snapchat may help change everything.
Snapchat Introduces “Discover”
The new discover feature from Snapchat gives users a new way to discover and explore content and stories from different editorial teams. This new tool was collaboration between with various media leaders to help build a storytelling format that put “the narrative first”.
Snapchat says this tool is unique, “because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.”
The discover tool can be found by clicking the bottom right corner of your open screen that leads to contacts and then clicking the purple circle located in the top right corner of your contacts page.
Everyone Gets Their Own Ghost/QR Code
In addition to the “discover” feature, Snapchat released a new way to find followers. Every person on Snapchat now has his or her very own ghost. The ghost sits in the middle of a yellow box, which has several black dots. The dots are individual QR codes.
This means, that user can now take screenshots of their ghost, post it on social media and ask people to follow them. It also means that users can easily find brands on Snapchat and add them from anywhere their ghost is posted.
How does this work? A user simply points the camera at another person’s ghost and clicks on the white ghost in the middle of the screen. This will automatically add the user to their contact list.
Don’t Forget About “Snapcash”
In late November of last year, Snapchat partnered with the payment processing app, Square to create Snapcash. Snapcash is integrated into the Square Cash Platform and allows users to connect their debit cards and send cash to other users. Once the debit information is connected to a Snapchat ID, users can send cash to other users by using their Snapchat ID. The user that was sent the money will receive an alert to their profile. If the user wants to accept the money, the user has to add their debit information to their Snapchat profile.
Considering that most of Snapchat’s users never log out of the system and it is now the fastest growing social media app, it could hold many opportunities for new ways of crowdfunding from a highly engaged and committed audience. Why haven’t we see much of it being done yet?
We haven’t seen Snapcash live up to its full potential yet, because when Snapcash initially launched brands had no real way of redirecting the user from the message to the Snapcash function. Now that Snapchat has launched Discover and QR codes to each user, a brand can easily redirect people from one platform to Snapchat and then to Snapcash. I see this as crowdfunding of the future.
What Does This Mean For the Future of Social Media Marketing?
It means we will now see these ghosts everywhere and by everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE. If your brand is not using Snapchat, it’s time to start questioning why.
I believe Snapchat’s new changes not only uphold their company values, but they also make more room for advertisers to reach new audiences and to bring crowdfunding to an entirely new level. They have successfully created a platform that can be monetized without making users feel like they are being advertised to.
I hope to see Snapchat advertising become as valuable and important as Facebook or Twitter. There is real opportunity here for brands to reach a new audience of people in ways we have never seen before.
What do you think the future of Snapchat will be?
Featured Image: Pizzaman1996 via Wikipedia
All screenshots taken January 2015
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