5 Snapchat Updates Marketers Need to Know from 2016

With over 150 million daily active users sharing nearly 9,000 photos and videos every second, Snapchat's advertising potential is bigger than ever. We’ve gone through Snapchat’s most important updates from 2016, and discussed the ones that matter the most for marketers.

1. On-Demand Geofilters

Snapchat geofilters are location-based overlays that users can design and add to their photos and videos. Previously, this feature was non-commercial, meaning that geofilters could not include brand logos or any other form of advertising. This February, Snapchat introduced on-demand geofilters, giving businesses of any size the opportunity to create their own branded overlays. They’ve also designed a special geofilter web tool to help create them. The price is as little as $5 for one Snapchat geofilter, which is surprisingly little, compared to their other ad products like Sponsored Lens that were used in the Super Bowl.

2. New Chat

In March, an updated Snapchat Chat was released with many new features, including video calls - and most importantly for marketers - the ability to share website links in the chat. The links can open directly in the Snapchat browser, giving users access to the shared content without having to leave the app. This is great news for marketers leveraging chat advertising who will now be able to link to their pages while communicating with their customers. Additionally, Snapchat launched Groups, which allows up to 16 people to communicate in one chat and share messages and media, that will self-delete after 24 hours.

3. Memories

Snapchat has always been a unicorn among social networks with its requirement to create exclusive content in the app. In July, the long awaited feature arrived, allowing users to upload older photos from their camera roll and share it with their community. Now users can save their Snaps into a Snapchat cloud - a digital space for storing all of their photos and videos. This was the biggest shift so far from Snapchat’s signature feature of self-deleting content.

4. “Snap to Unlock” Advertising Feature

This November, Snapchat released its new Snap to Unlock function for advertisers. Now companies can enable users to scan a special Snapcode to receive an exclusive filter. Quick Response Codes was previously not successful, but it’s a different story now with Snapcodes. Snapchatters already use these codes to find each other and they love the discovery aspect of them. Snap to Unlock ads are playful and mysterious, making it an effective way for marketers to capture their audience’s attention and showcase their products to an engaged audience.

5. Re-sharing Of Any Story

Until November, the only content Snapchat users could re-share on the platform were Stories from Snapchat Discover - a special section of the app featuring bite-sized materials posted by official media publishers. Now users can tap on any Story and share it with their friends, providing a great way to learn about new profiles. This update is especially important for marketers, who can now help to expand their Snapchat audience by creating shareable photos and videos.

What’s next?

This year Snapchat changed its name to Snap Inc. and positioned itself as a “camera company” by introducing smart camera glasses called Snapchat Spectacles. To complement the launch, they announced augmented reality lenses (you can’t take selfies wearing Spectacles, right?). In 2017 we might see more updates around augmented reality and image recognition-triggered ads.

Snapchat proved to be an innovator on the social media scene with a strong lead in mindshare. The company needs an innovative approach more than ever, now that it’s facing competition from Instagram Stories. Since its launch, Instagram Stories has already accumulated 100 million daily users, which is a solid number compared to Snapchat’s 150 million. Do you want to improve your Snapchat strategy? Check out how you can succeed with our 5 Tips For Businesses on Snapchat.

See what the introduction of Instagram Stories means for Snapchat in our latest Social Media Minute:


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