The Evolution of Snapchat

An app where photos only last from 1 second to 24 hours, is just five years old and has 100 million daily active users. Pretty impressive, right?

Snapchat is a photo and video-sharing app that was valued at $19 billion in 2015. With no algorithms, little filters and no liking, sharing or commenting, Snapchat certainly is different from other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

That’s exactly what makes it popular, however. And brands are jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon as they see the value it can bring to their business.

Statistics show that Ireland is the top country for Snapchat usage, 54% of users use it daily and there are 400 million snaps sent per day.

With no expense, no footprint left on the internet and the ability to reach millions, Snapchat is the ultimate platform for businesses and people trying to establish themselves as brands.

Roisin Scanlan from The Fashionista Observer, says Snapchat has its positives and negatives in building a brand online:

“I really do think Snapchat is important, but I don’t think all of the emphasis should be put on Snapchat promotion. While the platform allows for the brand or person to show their unique personality through video content and photos, something that is not as easy to show through traditional platforms like Instagram and Twitter, Snapchat will only last 24 hours. After these 24 hours content has vanished and the effort put into it is lost. Also what is lost is that sense of personality. Unless your follower is tuned in, they will not see your content unlike other forms of social media where it is stored and can be viewed constantly.”

“While I do like Snapchat as a platform, I would like them to integrate a 3 day option for certain content you would like to last longer than the couple of hours.”

The lack of links, external sources and integration with other applications makes Snapchat very exclusive, and Roisin agrees; “It’s very hard to gauge traffic from Snapchat as there isn’t a direct click link to the site from Snapchat, however I do find there is more engagement with my Snapchat followers when I promote my blog. They ask questions and comment on the content from the blog.”

With Twitter and Facebook both heavily using algorithms, and the proposed introduction to Instagram, Snapchat is one of the only main social media platforms that isn’t popularity based. For small brands and businesses, this is hugely favoured as it allows their content to be seen without having to pay for it to reach an audience.

For Roisin, this level of transparence is invaluable. “I think with these proposed algorithms, Snapchat really is becoming extremely important to social influencers and brands. As the content is in real time there is no fear of being missed out due to ‘popular’ posts promoted ahead of yours like on other social media platforms.”

“At present it is the most personal form of social media for brands and influencers, but as the progression of these social media platforms has been seen, it’s only a matter of time until it becomes like many of the other platforms.”

 

Amy Mulvaney

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