Snapchat is taking over the world – literally. An estimated 200 million users are sending 700 million pictures and videos daily. DAILY. The popular app, which launched in 2011, has come a long way in the past four years. We’ve seen the addition of filters and, more importantly, geotargeted filters, the ability to enlarge text and emojis, and Snapcash – which I’m not sure if anyone really uses? Recently, Snapchat has launched stories that highlight various cities and popular events around the world, advertising plans and their Discover tab.
I’m King Of The World – As Said By Jack Dawson
Stories aren’t anything new to the average Snapchat user. However, Snapchat has decided to do something pretty incredible yet simple. Every day or so, users will see a new city featured in their stories section. So far we’ve seen places like Chicago to Dubai to Sydney (Editors Note: Philadelphia has yet to be a featured city). These stories, which are generated from Snapchat users in the featured city, give the app’s 200 million plus worldwide users an honest look at a typical day in the city.
Is this just Snapchat’s way of telling everyone they own the world? Sorta. More noticeably, this move shows established brands and organizations Snapchat’s reach is worldwide. #Impressive.
The Snapchat team also covers popular events, which gives users a first look at what it’s like to be there. For example, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, which took place March 18th – 20th, had a featured Snapchat story where users could click through and see what others were uploading to Snapchat while attending the event. It’s like you’re raging with everyone else!
You may have a few questions about featured stories – let me explain.
Q. Does Snapchat cover every worldwide event?
A. No. Your event needs to be considered “big”.
Q. Do they do this for free?
A. Nope. It varies per event – but could end up costing around $30,000.
Q. If you upload your picture/video to the story, does it automatically show up?
A. It does not. Snapchat filters which pictures and videos make it to the featured story. They make sure you see the best of the best so you want to attend the next one. Smart business move, IMO.
Q. How do I upload to the story if I am at the particular event?
A. Based upon your location, you will be given the option to upload to the story. It will look something like the image below.
Hey Big Spender(s)
It’s no secret that Snapchat’s newest advertising plan isn’t cheap – in fact, it’s costing companies big $$$. There are conflicting reports as to exactly how much it costs to advertise, and one thing for sure is that many companies are having a hard time paying the allotted amount just to have the ad disappear after a day. This begs the questions: Is it worth it? Some businesses are saying YES! Who, you ask? McDonald’s – which used Snapchat to promote their rebranding campaign: Choose Lovin’. Universal Studios has used this platform to promote their best online casino movies, like Dumb and Dumber To, Ouija and Age of Adeline – all of which found high success rates according to Universal and Snapchat.
Many are used to seeing our Facebook newsfeeds flooded with advertisements that we can’t help but notice. Snapchat, again, likes to differentiate, giving their users the option to watch an advertisement or to simply skip over it and wait a day until it’s gone.
Discover Your Inner Snap
The Discover feature is probably the biggest and most important update to Snapchat that we’ve seen in the past four years. In January of this year, Snapchat introduced Discover, a new way to get your news and entertainment of the day. So far there are 12 different sources where users can tap through (you don’t need to hold your finger down the entire time, btw) to get news/updates/information and more.
Updated daily, each story comes with a designated editorial team that produces high-quality content and images. Snapchat prides itself on this being not social media, saying…
“Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.”
There is no algorithmic filter, like with Facebook, so each of the Discover stories are equally visible to users. Given that there are 200 million active users, if only 10 percent of those users use the Discover section – that is still 20 million users looking at this content, a number no organization should turn its nose up at.
As an avid Snapchatter, I’ve seen the app go through many changes, both good and bad (AKA the removal of seeing everyone’s Best Friends). It should be noted what an accomplishment Snapchat has become in just four years. Becoming the top app used by 15 – 25 year olds (a demo Facebook desperately wants), and discovering new ways to advertise different businesses, events and cities without being too obnoxious, I believe it’s safe to say Snapchat isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay, taking over a new city day by day.