A disastrous redesign, a rocky IPO and an ever shrinking USP, is Snapchat still relevent tool? Does the future of social media marketing lie elsewhere? Or has it still got a rabbit in the hat?
Snapchat was once an innovative and fun channel for marketers to harness but since Instagram has started to cherry pick Snapchat’s best features, is there any hope for the once popular app?
The most prevalent appropriation made by the Instagram, and since then Facebook, were the Stories feature created by Snapchat – short videos or images which disappear after 24 hours.
Many brands and marketers are utilising advertising and outreach features available in Stories and reaping the rewards. Engadget claims that Instagram Stories are even more popular than Snapchat as a whole. It says Instagram is able to boast 200 million story users every day, compared to Snapchats 150 million users overall.
But now Instagram has recently extended the amount of slides advertisers can use from one to three, allowing more opportunities for brands to tell meaningful stories to their audiences. Announced in February, companies such as Paramount, Coca-Cola and Apple have already taken advantage of the three-part story adverts.
Both Snapchat and Instagram story ads are available to be skipped at any point which poses difficulties for brands trying to engage with their audience on these channels. However, Instagram’s three-part stories are expected to be more successful. Experts have highlighted clothing brand Gap’s recent ad as a case in point.
Will Snap Inc’s innovation keep them relevant for businesses?
In February 2018, Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s parent company) released a massive redesign of its popular image and messaging app. Snap Inc’s aim was to reduce clutter and improve usability for its massive market share, as well as optimise opportunities for publishers and advertisers. Users were not happy, but the redesign presents a fantastic opportunity for marketers and publishers.
For companies looking to harness Snapchat’s younger audience, the new design’s focus on incorporating sponsored content will be a welcome inclusion for publishers and advertisers. Some brands have already come out in defence of the redesign and says it has already improved engagement.
Delmondo is a leading Social Video Analytics company and believes the redesign has helped many of its clients, most notably Nascar. Delmondo’s CEO, Nick Cicero, told AdAge they had seen a massive improvement for Nascar’s brand.
“There was already a solid base of followers. So to jump 80 percent on top of that means there was this buried audience. There could have been a lot more people following Nascar than were previously being exposed to that content.”
The new frontier for Snapchat could be its venture into web. Despite being a strictly iOS and Android app for so long, Snapchat has announced stories will be available online, according to Econsultancy.
The move might be a last resort as user numbers have slowed but for marketers this could be a new avenue for engagement and attraction. This has been a wooing of corporate proportions as Lucia Moses of Digiday notes Snapchat’s head of content, Mike Su, has been attempting to attract advertisers after Facebook put their noses out of joint with the News Feed roll back.
Snap estimates all users will have the updated, marketing-orientated version of Snapchat by the end of the March. Only time will tell whether the redesign will be detrimental to Snapchat’s core users, its levels of engagement and overall relevance. But the app is taking a positive step for marketing and businesses.
Instagram may already be outstripping the once innovative social media app but Snapchat’s courting of businesses and attempts to make it marketing-ready could offer an ideal avenue for publishers.