What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, former students at Stanford University, and developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc. The first launch of the iOS version of the app dates back to September 2011, when it was launched under the name Snapchat.
Snapchat allows users to monitor their chats or follow stories they find interesting. Snapchat’s rise in popularity as a social network was primarily due to the changing trend that pictures and videos were being used for communicating rather than simply saving a memory. Snapchat allows users to provide instant expression on how they are feeling in the moment instead of traditional social media, which stores all content and provides a “social identity” in regards to everything a user has ever done.
In their first blog post, dated May 9, 2012, CEO Evan Spiegel described the company’s mission: “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.” They present Snapchat as the solution to stresses caused by the longevity of personal information on social media, evidenced by “emergency de-tagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots before they hit the internet.”
Since then, the growth of Snapchat has been spectacular. Here are a few highlights to consider.
- Snapchat has 160 million daily active users as of Q4 2016.
- 41% of people ages 18-34 in the US use Snapchat every day. No other social media company is even close to the reach of this coveted younger demographic bracket that Snapchat currently dominates.
- Snapchat has the highest engagement rate of any major social media platform. Companies such as Taco Bell and others have reported open rates north of 80% on their stories and posts. Compared to a platform like Facebook, where on average less than 5% of your followers will see your wall posts, Snapchat has engagement like no other.
- Promoting your brand on Snapchat is fairly inexpensive. Creating geo-filters and hyper targeted ads is incredibly cheap as of right now. For $100 or less your company could easily reach 10,000+ Snapchat users who are specifically interested in your particular niche, products or services.
- Snapchat is ripe for influencer marketing. There are already thousands of relevant influencers on Snapchat. Influencers are power users who have tens of thousands of dedicated followers and are willing to promote your brand, products and offers for very low fees compared to other more traditional advertising channels.
- According to industry experts, Snapchat is poised to become the next Facebook or Instagram in a very short time. Although 160 million users is nowhere near the 1 billion+ users that both Facebook and Instagram currently have, time is now on your side to jump in and take advantage of this platform before your competitors do. There are many success stories of companies that 5 years ago started investing heavily in Facebook ads and built multi-billion dollar companies they were in before anyone else was. Read here to see how a company called Wish went from 0 to $3 Billion in revenue via Facebook and Instagram arbitrage.
- Snapchat offers unique and direct engagement with your followers. Many companies can send videos, pictures and even send text messages to their audience through Snapchat. Snapchat is able to provide a direct line of communication between you and your customers.
As of this writing, Snap, Inc. (parent company of Snapchat) is currently in a silent period as it gets ready for their initial public offering (IPO) in March. In the meantime, if you want to take advantage of a fast-growing, fresh and still inexpensive advertising and branding platform, the time is now.
As always, if you need more information or are simply curious about this option, feel free to contact me anytime. Until next week, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)