Snapchat for business

What is Snapchat

Affectionately known as Snap to its 330 million daily users, Snapchat is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. What began as a camera company – a tradition that’s still relevant for its tech developments – Snap has been wooing young social media users since 2011. Its co-founder, Evan Spiegel, remains CEO. Snapchat is both a social media platform and a developer and innovator of both cameras – which are placed in frames from glasses or sunglasses – and AR lenses which are also placed in glasses.

Snap has weathered a number of storms to maintain a very active user base who remain with the brand despite the almost monthly updates to its products and features. It’s original USP was that the images one sent – snaps – disappear or were inaccessible after a short period of time. This was intended to encourage more natural interaction.

How does Snapchat work?

Snapchat started off with photo sharing, but it has followed the path of all other social media platforms and users now chat live on video, send messages, and share stories and videos. Users can now save and store messages in private spaces.

One of Snapchat’s most innovative features has been its interface with filters and AR-based lenses, which it places in frames that the users wear. Snapchat was early to see the value in providing its users with instant reactions to messages and images via smartphones. Its AR developments changed the way users communicated online with instant messages that disappeared but also added fun filters and other VR additions.

Snapchat radically alters its appearance and functionality regularly, more than any other social media platform. The only constant is that stories and chats remain the most important features. Instagram was inspired by Snapchat to have stories that only appeared for 24 hours, they launched the function around the time that Facebook was trying to acquire Snapchat in 2016.

The other element of Snapchat that keeps its Gen Z users happy is the company’s constant innovation in the area of augmented reality, where the platform remains a leader. Snapchat’s AR selfie filters first became famous with doggie ears and animated hats. Mid-2022, its 330 million daily users were having 6 million AR experiences every day.

Is Snapchat good for marketing?

Because most of Snapchat's users are millennials and Gen-Zers, they have a younger demographic open to advertising on their terms and only for the items they need or want. Advertising has to look and ‘feel’ authentic to the users, or they will not trust the brand.

Marketers can reach their target group on Snapchat in several main ways. Companies can create a Public Profile for their business and produce content and get reactions from followers and in feeds organically. Businesses can also create ads in a whole host of formats where products can be tagged. As with all other social commerce platforms, Snapchat is actively working on monetizing the space and innovating ad formats to help brands leverage the platform for business.

Businesses can use the Dress up tab – similar to Instagram’s Shopping tab – to market products. Users can click on Product stickers which act as product tags and then can see items they wish to purchase. Snapchat aims to create an AR-powered experience with the clothing items. Users click product stickers to reveal brand sets where they can select specific products and then add stickers to their Snap frames.

The many other AR features, including geofilters and the Discover section, open up huge possibilities for marketers looking to place products, brands, or experiences in front of the user.

Snapchat glossary

Snap

Users call all videos, images, and messages on Snapchat – “snaps”. A “snapback” is when a user responds to a snap.

Story

You can create stories by linking snaps and they then appear to your followers as a “story” or reel. They can tap through your story and get a feel for how your day went. These stories only stay visible for 24 hours. You can save your own stories before they disappear in the Memory section (private storage), where they remain visible to you forever.

Snapcode

A Snapcode is a scannable code that makes it easy to add new friends without them having to click a button in their accounts. Snapcodes are like QR codes and they can be located on the Profile screen. Access it by tapping the ghost icon or your Bitmoji in the corner of the Camera screen and let your new friend scan it

Score

Your score is on your profile page and it’s an equation based on the number of snaps you’ve sent and received, the stories you posted, and other factors. You can find a friend’s score when you hold down a friend’s name in your contact list, story feed, or chat area. And you can find yours under your Snapcode located in the center of your Profile screen.

Lenses

Make your snaps more fun by adding AR-based special effects and sounds using the Lenses feature. To activate lenses, go to the Camera screen in Snapchat, then long-press on your face in the camera view, and lenses will appear in a row next to the capture button.

3D World Lenses

Unlike Lenses that usually work with a face, World Lenses affect the environment around you. They appear in the same row as Lenses, but only when your camera is facing outward. For instance, a current one shows our Bitmoji avatar mixing potions and chemicals while sitting at a desk.

Filter

You can jazz up your snap by adding a fun overlay with a filter. After you take a snap, swipe right or left on the preview screen to add colored filters, the current time, local weather, speed overlays, or geofilters to your photo or video. After taking your snap and applying your first filter, you can press and hold and then swipe to add yet another filter, too.

Geofilter

Like filters, you can use a geofilter to decorate snaps. Unlike filters, however, geofilters are specific to your location or an event you’re attending. They encourage other users to share their experiences with friends and followers. On-Demand geofilters may also be designed and purchased by individuals or smaller companies and only become available when a user enters a specified location, such as a wedding or graduation venue.

Memories

Snapchat no longer deletes everything after a short period of time. Memories give you another way to store snaps in Snapchat’s cloud and allow you to store media locally on your device. When you take a snap, you see an option to save it to your Memories where you can organize, edit, search, lock, and share the snap.

Discover

This section is located right of the Camera screen and it’s where you find content from brands and publishers. You can find branded content on Discover from Vice, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Tastemade, CNN, Buzzfeed, and many more.

Bitmoji

When you download the Bitmoji app and create an avatar, you can then link it to your Snapchat account. Your AR-based lenses now display your avatar and stickers. You could also see “friendmoji” stickers in a chat. Bitmojis are designed to encourage user interaction on Snapchat.

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Category: Social commerce

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