‘Disappearing’ messages have evolved considerably, and grown in popularity, since Snapchat first introduced its game-changing photo concept. And now the company has to contend with social media heavyweights such as Facebook and Instagram launching revamps of their own best ideas. So, in the face of such rivalry, Snapchat has had to continue to innovate and introduce new features just to differentiate its appeal as it tries to stay in the game.
Snapchat’s turbo voters
Noting America’s historically low numbers of young voters – less than 20% of those in the 18-to-25 age bracket voted in the 2014 mid-term elections – Snapchat has chosen to intervene in an effort to improve their political participation in this November’s mid-terms. This particular age group are heavily represented within the company’s 100 million active North American users. That’s why, as The Verge reports, Snapchat will be sending a Team Snapchat message to all its over-18 users, as well as heavily promoting National Voter Registration Day.
Research suggests young voters either overlooked the deadline or didn’t know how to register, so Snapchat’s intervention to provide a Snapchat-branded TurboVote mobile site which enables users to register is a timely addition.
Snapchat and Amazon look at shopping’s social side
Ever wondered where a stranger bought stunning shoes or an eye-catching outfit? Well, Snapchat and Amazon’s new partnership may just have the solution. As of now, you just need to scan the items via your camera and Amazon will find the appropriate brands, thus allowing you to make your own purchase.
This innovative Amazon-backed facility, known as a ‘Visual Search’, can identify any product either by scanning in the correct barcode or else the product image itself. And there’s no doubt this enhanced option has real potential to give online shopping a previously untapped layer of experience.
Having started life in 2011 as an ephemeral photo app, Snapchat has undergone a series of rapid transformations first embracing videos in 2012, stories and chats in 2013 and 2014, and short-form ads in 2015, before introducing Snapchat memories and then rebranding itself as Snap Inc. in 2016. In many ways, this activity is not unlike the methods the movie-, music- or casino games industries have used to refresh themselves over the last two decades. But now Snapchat is really ramping up its e-commerce credentials in an effort to appeal to advertisers with three new features.
Firstly, Snapchat is launching shoppable Collection Ads which allow advertisers to group and promote their products in a new carousel format. So, whilst viewing a revolving series of items, shoppers will be able to click through to detailed product pages at any point. In addition, Snapchat advertisers will now be able to upload their product catalogues in order to create new types of brand-optimised ads. And lastly, a more focused version of the embedded Snapchat Pixel can now reveal more details of Snapchatters behaviour when they click on a site. The ability to discover what kinds of site pages they viewed will help advertisers to retarget customers more effectively and thus significantly reduce the nominal ‘cost per acquisition’.
A recent eMarketer study offers one possible clue as to why Snapchat may be seizing the e-commerce initiative at this particular moment: eMarketer’s figures suggest Snapchat is likely to acquire an extra 1.2 million new teenage users by 2022, while Facebook is set to lose 2.2 million over the same period.