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Innovating business through Snapchat
With roughly 150 million people using Snapchat every day, the app consumes around 800 hours of video per second.1 Since its launch, Snapchat has changed the social media scene with Ephemeral or disappearing message boards skyrocketing in popularity and revolutionising the way people interact and marketers use content.2 So what is Snapchat? Snapchat is a mobile messaging application which allows users to share photos, videos, text and drawings. Users customise images by overlaying graphics, text and adding filters (called Snapchat Lenses) to personalise individual or group messaging.3 Created in 2011 by Evan Spiegel & Bobby Murphy, in 2016 Snapchat went public, creating two of the youngest billionaires ever – at 26 and 28 years old respectively.4 Having studied product design at Stanford University, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Frank Brown had launched a program called Picaboo. Picaboo allows its users to design their own photo books directly from their phone and customise it onto canvas, calendars, cards, cases and a range of different items to create memories that last longer than your phone does.5 After working on Picaboo, Evan wanted to design an application where photos and messages could disappear.”6 Interestingly, Frank Brown settled a confidential settlement in 2014 with Snapchat after being ‘unfairly ousted and not given credit for his contributions’ to the Snapchat program.7 How can business utilise Snapchat effectively? Like many of the social media platforms, Snapchat is the ultimate in marketing to a highly engaged, proactive and targeted audience. Where traditional marketing offered something generic to a lot of people, Snapchat offers products that are specifically targeted, to users that are engaged and looking for the products or services the company provides. From advertising space, articles, app install, long form videos and web views there are a range of visual, dynamic and integrated ad platforms for companies to engage and work with customers to give then ‘customer lead’ design in their interaction with the brand.8 So what can you learn from Snapchat? As entrepreneurs of the future, Snapchat shows that sometimes as good as the products, services, solutions and experiences may be, there are always ways that people can do things differently. All social media platforms allow the Snapchat functionality in some way, but not in the ‘design lead thinking’ way that Snapchat stormed the market. While Facebook and Instagram are some of the more popular social media platforms of the moment – with a great idea, there is always room for one more. Although Picaboo in its own right is an exceptional business model, it was not what ultimately made the founders billionaires before they were 30 years old! Iteration of business in today’s fast-paced world is paramount to learning what your market wants, how they want it rather than just giving them what you think it is that they want. What is next for Snapchat? With the company going public – although the original founders still have control of the board – there is a lot of money in the business, new creative minds developing behind the scenes and arguably there will be significant innovation coming in the Snapchat space. After transforming the ‘selfie’, Snapchat is now looking to alter reality, reportedly working on augmented reality offering in the near future.9 This concept would effectively pull features from your TV or electronic device integrating them into our real lives10– now that is cool and scary all at the same time. This blurring of the lines between what is real and what is computer generated is the next step towards the worlds depicted in any sci-fi or futuristic film of the past 50 years. Snapchat along with the innovators of SpaceX, Apple and Silicon Valley’s best and brightest are on the verge of turning virtual reality into our reality….so watch this space. 1 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/history-of-snapchat 2 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/history-of-snapchat 3 https://www.webwise.ie/parents/explainer-what-is-snapchat-2/ 4 https://www.forbes.com/sites/katevinton/2017/02/02/snap-ipo-filing-shows-the-founders-each-own-stakes-worth-4-billion/#73e649942cc4 5 https://www.picaboo.com 6 http://abbylutz.weebly.com 7 https://techcrunch.com/2014/09/09/snapchat-finally-settles-lawsuit-with-ousted-co-founder-reggie-brown/ 8 https://www.snapchat.com/l/en-gb/ads/ad-products/ 9 http://mashable.com/2017/02/01/snapchat-world-lenses-augmented-reality/#tacwKpzO1qqk 10 http://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm