The statistics say it all. Snapchat confirmed a daily viewership of 6 billion on their platform in November 2015.
Videos that disappear on their own after the recipients have seen them made Snapchat an attractive social media platform and a roaring success among the youth in the age group of 18-26 years in the US market.
Adding to its luster is the new feature – a replay option that allows one to take another look at the videos before they disappear completely. This feature adds more legitimacy and attractiveness to the platform.
There have been questions around the kind of content available on the platform. Since videos disappear within minutes of being viewed, it was largely considered a sexting platform.
American technology analyst and advisor to brands like Lenovo and HP Rob Enderle had made a Twitter comment stating that Snapchat is certainly not a sexting app. He quoted an article by Business Insider journalist Maya Kosoff, who researched on whether Snapchat is much more than what people perceive it to be.
Her findings revealed that the medium is being consumed for socialising, taking and sharing selfies, and sharing information on youth issues, food, and music. The content was found to be very similar to the content shared on other social media. She also discovered that Snapchat is used not just by the youth, but those in their 30s and 40s as well.
Rightly so, it does become an attractive medium for marketers and brands. Big brands are gravitating towards it considering the attention it is getting.
Channels like CNN, Daily Motion, National Geographic, etc have begun to use the medium to share content that keeps the users engaged. Advertisers are creating interesting story ads on these channels that are engaging and also offer a new way of looking at advertising itself.
But the question is, does the same rules apply when it comes to Snapchat in India?
Currently, compared to the massive user base of Whatsapp and Facebook, Snapchat is limited to 9% share. Though the numbers are not promising, there is potential for growth considering the size of the market and their aggressive plans to grow in India.
My interactions with a few college students and young professionals have validated this assumption. The main reason why they use Snapchat is the short shelf-life of the videos. They mostly use it to share conversations in video format and not as texts. Video consumption is clearly on the rise. It is seen as a safer and more secure way of sharing and exchanging data considering there is no life beyond one view. Also, the hassle-free data storage makes it a more practical medium. What is also attractive for them is the discovery platform with its engaging and informative content on the channels. These features encourage youth brands to look at this as a potential advertising territory and move from cliché advertising to creative content marketing.
Author, social media expert, blogger and podcaster Chris Ducker says in one of his vlogs that brands can derive a lot of value from Snapchat in 2016.Here are the three key reasons why Chris believes in Snapchat’s potential to be a big platform for brands and businesses.
This is a huge opportunity, what does this mean to marketers like us? We can become early adopters on a platform that has billions of active users on a daily basis.
It is a great opportunity for youth brands to look at themselves as early adopters and latch on to the medium early on, study youth behavior closely, offer native advertising and content that appeal to the youth today.
I feel it is pushing the envelope on how we look at advertising today and forcing brands to get more creative and find new ways of engaging youth rather than mere advertising. Also, this is an opportunity for brands that have the ability to look at it from a long-term perspective rather than a medium for a quick call to action. It would require a build up and also establishing a rapport with your target consumers. The dividends would come in the long run.
Related read: Three key content marketing tips for 2016