Is #Snapchat #SocialMedia…

Nov 01, 2013
Jason Baumann

This week, we are exploring some of the less popular social media platforms. Someone asked me about Snapchat. I have Snapchat and use it regularly but am definitely not convinced to its practicality in the business social media toolkit. However, I do think that is part of a growing trend of temporary content/erasable media.

So, what is Snapchat?  Snapchat is a photo and video messaging app developed by a group of Stanford University students in September 2011. Users can take photos or video, add text or drawings and then send them on to your contact list. The sender is able to give the receiver a designated timeframe 1-10 seconds to be able to view the content before it disappears into never neverland.

What distinguishes Snapchat from its competitors is the fact that the content disappears after a given amount of time. That is part of a erasable media trend that strays from the concept that once something is posted online, it is posted forever. It is kind of like a self-destructing, private network Vine.

Snapchat is currently preparing for a sale. At this point in its life, it is in a better position than Instagram, YouTube or Twitter were at comparable historical moments. It boasts more than 100 million users with more than 350 million snaps per day – some very impressive engagement numbers. With is potential, its current user base and engagement level, it is estimated at being worth roughly $800 million. So unlike its content, it is not disappearing anytime soon.

In terms of its place in business social media marketing, there are some ideas for usage but they are weak. Business marketing and advertising is about making ideas reach people and last in their my minds. Snapchat is against both of those concepts. It is limited in its networking ability and building following and its content lasts only for seconds. Until some sort of advertising is incorporated into its platform, I see little value from the business marketing perspective. However, it is a cool app that I will continue to use.

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