Less than a month into 2014, we seem to be hearing the name “SnapChat” more and more frequently. One of many popular mobile apps available, it’s a trendy topic among both consumers and marketers today. While many debate its merit and staying power, others contend that it’s here for the long haul. While the jury’s still out at YaBlog, read on to find out exactly what SnapChat is, how it works and how it’s benefitting businesses.
What Is It?
SnapChat is a mobile application and social networking platform that’s growing rapidly in popularity. It allows users to send photos and videos to one another that automatically delete after a pre-determined time frame. A novel notion, this impermanence caters to consumers’ growing need for privacy, allowing for greater creativity and less restriction. The application itself is available for smartphones, iPads, computers and other devices.
How Do I Set It Up?
With over 400 million “snaps” shared every day, SnapChat is pretty easy to figure out. Users must first install the application, which can be found at the App Store or Google Play. Click Sign Up (your email address, password and birth date are required) and select a unique username, which makes it easy for friends to find you. Choose wisely – it can’t be changed if you regret calling yourself “DigiNerd2014.” Once you’ve added your friends, either manually or via your phone’s contact list, set-up is complete and you’re ready to go.
How Do I Send “Snaps?”
Capturing images with SnapChat is incredibly simple – if you know how to use a smartphone camera, you’re pretty much there. From the main screen, users can tap to focus on an area and tap, or hold, the circular button to take a photo or video. You then tap the “stopwatch” icon in the lower left to set the time limit for the image or video which, ranging from 1 to 10 seconds, dictates when it will self destruct. Follow the prompts to add a witty caption or tap the “pen” icon in the upper right to draw directly onto the photo. Satisfied with your masterpiece? Tap the arrow icon in the bottom right to choose a recipient; tap it once more to send.
What About Businesses?
Businesses are beginning to jump on the SnapChat bandwagon. An innovative way to communicate with customers, companies are capitalizing on the benefits that short-term visual messaging offers. For example, as discussed by Mashable, a New York City yogurt shop called 16 Handles was the first to execute a SnapChat promotion. 16 Handles asked users to send snaps of themselves enjoying their product, and those who participated received a snap of a coupon for up to 100% off. The coupon could only be opened at the register, or it would delete. While a standard promotional ad may have been equally effective, SnapChat is a novel medium that also allows businesses to target the platform’s main demographic, teens and young adults.
With how simple it is to use, the high degree of privacy it offers and how many businesses are realizing its potential, it’s easy to see why SnapChat might be here to stay. We’re more than eager to see where 2014 takes this social network, and social media as a whole.
Image Credit: Phandroid