Snapchat Wants to IM

May 7, 2014

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What Happened: Snapchat has become a wildly popular application for sharing quick photos that disappear in 10 seconds or less. According to Snapchat, its new chatting feature (its largest application update yet) works the same way: Users can instant message each other for as long as they would like, but as soon as they leave the chat screen, the entire conversation is erased. However, there is the option of saving the chat via screenshot as well, just as users can do with photos now. The app also has added video chatting.

What This Means for Brands: As CNET points out, this update puts Snapchat in direct competition with other chatting applications like WeChat, WhatsApp and Blackberry’s BBM. Mobile messaging is taking off, and Snapchat’s revamped services are intended to deepen its users interactions and make sure the conversation is contained – all of their transactions (photos, video and chatting) are housed within the app. With more than 700 million messages sent back and forth everyday and 20 million users, Snapchat isn’t short on activity. Some brands (Taco Bell16 handles) have experimented with the app, offering fans private snaps, quick coupons and secret announcements. With the new features, these brands may be able to get even closer to their customers through live chat and obviously, an opened snap (or Snapchat) reaches highly engaged eyeballs.

Contributing to TRENDING items are Ephraim Cohen, Sarah Gordon, Lisa Helfer, Lydia Herrera, Jeff Maldonado, Lauren Price and Abby Ray.