Snapchat became famous for secrecy. Nothing that was sent would last for over 10 seconds and it allowed people to send sometimes controversial content to one another without it being kept. It was essentially the reason that the platform became so popular, it offered anonymity and the people you connected with were your friends.
In time however, this changed and last year they introduced ‘stories’. The idea behind this was that users could take photos and videos then post them to a timeline allowing people to view all of these posts without them being directly sent them.
Now they have gone one step further by introducing ‘Discover’.
This is a service that allows selected media services to upload content to Snapchat, without the time limits set by traditional snapchat posts. It is almost a news discovery service, but only for the select few who have been invited to participate.
It is a brand new concept and one that doesn’t necessarily sit with the kind of people that tend to use the service and the reasons they created an account in the first place. This is because the basis of the app comes from the ability to share something quickly with people who you want to see it.
Discover allows stories to be uploaded snapchat that last for 24 hours and are then replaced. These can include video, text or images and the idea is that it allows companies to get increased coverage through the roughly 200 million Snapchat users.
This could potentially work in theory and having used the platform, it is well designed and the UX is certainly functional. The big question is, will this be a viable product for companies to invest their marketing budgets in?
We have seen that Snapchat have attempted to diversify the use of their app, but sometimes their ideas have been slightly wide of the mark. For instance the Snapcash idea, where you can send money through the app. Nobody would want to use this because when you are dealing with financial details, it needs to be transparent and trustworthy, neither of which are aspects that Snapchat possesses.
It is in much the same vein as gathering news sources, why would I use an app like Snapchat to get my news and content? If I need to get my news I would use a dedicated news app, if I want to look at specific video content I have Youtube. Although it is clearly at attempt by Snapchat to monetize their platform, in reality I don’t know if they are going about it in the correct way.
Purely based on the fact that I don’t want them knowing information about me, which is what made the app so popular initially, is why they can never target consumers in the same way that other more immersive social media platforms can.
With 200 million users, it is clear that Snapchat can find a way to monetize their platform, but money transfers and sharing media content doesn’t strike me as the best way to approach it.