Snapchat:The Next Social Media Phenomenon

Snapchat has quickly rose to popularity since it’s beginnings in 2011. In 2013 Facebook attempted to make the strategic move of buying Snapchat for $3 billion but the app was too clever to give up the possibility of growing further.  Their predictions were correct. There are currently 150 million daily active users and one can assume that the app isn’t stopping any time soon.

But what makes Snapchat so beloved? As a image-based messaging app there are two favorite key features: filters and timed message deletion. The app updates the filters daily with new characters or schemes.  One favorite is a rainbow mouth filter.  It’s regularly kept in rotation in the filters and users are constantly sharing videos on and off the app of this filter. Message deletion is also favored because many people not like the permanency of technology today.  A user can potentially share content that they do not wish to be shared with others and set a time limit of how long it can be viewed.  Snapchat even takes it a step further and alerts the user if the receiving party takes a screenshot of the message/image.

As Snapchat continues to thrive, other top-dog social media platforms face competition.  According to Bloomberg Technology, Twitter was once the second largest social network (with Facebook as #1).  Unlike Twitter, “Snapchat has made communicating more of a game by letting people send annotated selfies and short videos. It has allowed people to use its imaging software to swap faces in a photo, transform themselves into puppies, and barf rainbows”. Twitter takes on a more newsy approach.  Not to mention the majority of the content you share on Twitter is posted for all of your followers to see.  Snapchat has the capability to just send to one individual for privacy.  Twitter has the private messaging option but it is more for utility not for enjoyment.

It’s important to mention too that staying relevant with the younger generations creates the most success for social media platforms.  It could be said that image based sharing has been the most successful (i.e. Instagram, Snapchat, etc).  The marketing firm Martin Wilborne Partners states:

“Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among millennials, with a 32.9% penetration on the demographic’s mobile phones, trailing only Instagram (43.1%) and Facebook (75.6%). This data indicates that the app is now more popular than Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Google+ or Tumblr among those aged 18 to 34. Snapchat’s penetration is even more powerful among the coveted college-aged demographic, with 70% of college students reporting posting on Snapchat at least once a day compared to 11% reporting posting on Facebook with the same frequency.”

However, despite drop off with younger crowds, Twitter has had the advantage on the side of business use. Companies make one or mulitple Twitter accounts But as a mostly light-hearted picture app, how could business take advantage of Snapchat and get in front of young customers? Filters seems to always be the answer.

Recently Bank of America synced up their commercial advertisements with a sponsored filter release on Snapchat.  The user could make themselves look like a llama and the picture was branded.

Starbucks also took advantage of the image functionality of the app and allowed users to become the mermaid in their iconic logo. Companies are ultimately becoming more savvy as users turn to new and different applications.  It is in other businesses best interest to being engaging on Snapchat with filters since trends have shown that it is not dropping from popularity any time soon.

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