What Happened: One-to-one messaging app Snapchat has introduced its new feature, Snapchat Discover. Snapchat Discover allows a user to click on a news media channel and flip through that day’s stories. In Snapchat form, stories are (in most cases) a mix of short form text, video and photos, letting users easily dismiss a story and move to the next one. As part of the Snapchat app, they are mixed in with private communications, but they are clearly commercial.
What This Means for Brands: The outlet might be different, but this is not a new concept for brands. It’s a similar approach that email newsletters take – short, to the point, temporary (you tend to read that day’s news) and mixed in with your private emails. However, like with email newsletters, trying to be too creative and engaging could turn off users. As we’ve seen with newsletters, it’s often the plain-text, single-column newsletter with great, short, targeted valuable editorial content that performs best. As a private channel (aka dark social) platform, it’s quite possible Snapchat may take a similar approach. So what should brands do? For the risk tolerant, early-adopter brands, this may be worth experimenting with immediately – though caution should be exercised. For others, it’s worth watching closely, even if you’re not focused on the Snapchat user base. If it works, you can be sure it will be a feature adopted by other communications platforms.