Snapchat Opens Up to Brands & Businesses

For every meeting I attend, in every strategic workshop I have, Snapchat is always mentioned or brought up by the majority of the attendees. It has become so annoying and frustrating, when I leave the meeting I can still hear whispers following me “snaapchaat…. Ssssnapchat…”!

Brands & businesses are hooked on trying to figure out the best possible formula to have a solid presence on Snapchat. Yes, MTV, American Airlines, & The Wall Street Journal are doing a pretty good job maintaining and building engagement via snapping – which is a nominee for this years’ Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year – not, but what return is that getting them? How is this so called “success” being measured in reality? What business gain are they achieving from it? I don’t know, I am asking.

Snapchat has long owed its success to the fact that it’s a no business, no ads social network; yes, it has tried to play around with some features, adding special stories, ‘discoveries’, etc… but while most ideas failed, they managed to not disrupt the user’s attention on what they really want to do:  have delusional wannabes snap 10 second videos of the speed of their car while driving to work in the morning; and once arrived, snap a photo of their hand holding their coffee mug with an illegible handwriting greeting their followers who have no idea why they are following them in the first place.

And that is the sole objective of a social network, right? Become so addictive to a level that…ok I will stop there.

Well brands, your days of trying to decode the “Snapchat Success Formula” is over, Snapchat just announced that it is finally changing its business model and offering several new features to businesses to have a successful, fruitful, lucrative, money making presence on its platform with the following new features:

  • Business Pages: Snapchat will soon launch business pages for brands. Business pages, just like brand pages on Facebook, will allow businesses to share their contact details and a snapshot about their products/services, all this under what they call a “Bio”!

BP

  • Special Content: Businesses who will opt for the above attractive business page will be able to publish -a.k.a. snap- not only 10 second videos, which is the maximum duration a user can publish of a video on the platform, but actually publish i.e., snap, a video up to 2 minutes! Business will also be able to publish several images and combine them together in a “slideshow format” just like Facebook’s new Slideshow Ads.
  • Advertising: Yes, ads! Though not all the details were uncovered, but Snapchat did confirm that the image & video ads will start appearing in between the snaps of those you follow. While image ads were confirmed to last each for 2 seconds, no limit on a video ad duration was mentioned.
  • Uploading: Business will also be able to –wait for it- upload videos to its platform, with the above maximum mentioned duration of 2 minutes. Snapchat will be adding a tool to the special business pages entitled “Editor” so that brands/business are able to ‘edit’ their videos with special effects, filters, cut, sound, etc…

uploading

  • Last but not least, what is a brand page worth, if it is not Verified! Snapchat will start verifying pages in the future. Snapchat will start with chosen partners in the U.S. and roll the feature gradually to all locations. A verified page will be identified from its white check mark in a yellow circle.

verified

Now take a deep breath… while the above sounds very incredible, and if you are a marketer you are probably jumping up and down while someone snaps a video of you, the above is in fact just part of my imagination, call it a mere prediction, it is actually an April’s fools attempt, but it is definitely not true, for now at least…

Snapchat will have to eventually monetize its business to survive, we are all seeing what is happening to Twitter. Although Snapchat has proven to be an excellent tool for influencers, artists, & superstars tonconnect with their diehard fans, but the social network will eventually -most definitely- follow in the footsteps of Facebook, the mother of all social networks, and devise a way to introduce advertising and other incentivizing features for brands, it’s only a matter of time.

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