Snapchat is Growing Even Bigger with New Updates

If you’re over a certain age, it’s likely you didn’t really get Snapchat in the beginning.

So it’s an app teenagers use to send each other photos that disappear after a few seconds? Huh. Why is this a big deal again? When did I get so old? (This was my reaction in a nutshell, so no judgment.)

But it’s become very clear – especially over the last few months – that Snapchat is not just a passing fad. And it’s not just for the kids.

Snapchat started with one simple functionality that took off like wildfire. But since then, Snapchat has been steadily and strategically building out more services and features that appeal to wider audience segments.

This week, Snapchat launched Chat 2.0, introducing a new set of features that aim to clinch the app’s dominant social media position among millennials. Snapchat is gradually making it easier and easier to do everything you want to do on social media – without ever leaving the app.

This is a big deal because users are already spending a lot of time in Snapchat. The company is telling potential advertisers that its more than 100 million daily active users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes a day on the app. Of those daily users, 60% are creating content.

New Snapchat Features

  • Video Notes let you record 10 seconds of video that loop when your friend watches
  • Audio Notes let you record short voice snippets to send to a friend
  • Video and Audio Calls let you use Snapchat as a phone alternative (similar to Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp)
  • More than 200 stickers available in private chat
  • Send photos via text, video and audio calls
  • Switch between Video and Audio Calls, Video and Audio notes, stickers and text
  • Stories now auto-advance

A Fortune article this week defined Snapchat’s ultimate goal as “total domination of every relevant form of social media.” It outlined its recent strategic moves and updates, and when you read them all at once, total domination doesn’t seem like that much of an exaggeration; Snapchat:

  • Launched Stories, collections of photos and videos that users create and share, lasting for 24 hours
  • Built Discover, a feature that allows media companies and advertisers to create their own stories
  • Reportedly hired a dozen experts in wearable technology working on a hush-hush project
  • Signed a deal that lets Viacom sell advertising on the service, and expanded a partnership with Nielsen to measure the effectiveness of its ads
  • Hired CNN correspondent Peter Hamby to build out its news operation, rapidly adding media outlets to Discover (now with 23 media companies distributing content through the app)

Snapchat is a moving target, which makes it more challenging for brands to figure out than platforms like Facebook or Instagram. However, it’s not going anywhere but up anytime soon. Millennials will continue to spend their time on Snapchat, and it’s worth looking for new opportunities to incorporate the app into your brand’s marketing and storytelling strategy.

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