Every social media platform has its own Golden Hour. You know about the Hour. It’s that time when all is right… the platform is free, simple, all your friends are using it, and–most importantly–there are no ads or marketing.

For Facebook, the “Golden Hour” was a time when membership was limited to users with college email addresses. For Twitter, it was a time when a Tweet was a witty, text-only quip about news or culture.

Well, the “Golden Hour” may be closing in on Snapchat.

…which doesn’t mean the network is about to be ruined by advertising. But it does mean that the platform is poised to develop. For better or worse, advertising on social media changes the (1) types of users and (2) the way they interact with each other.

The Facts About Snapchat
A new infographic from NewsCred unpacks some insightful data about Snapchat’s avid users. Here are the facts:

  • Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users.
  • 8,796 photos are shared on Snapchat every second.
  • Snapchat users collectively watch 6 billion videos daily.

While those numbers are huge, they aren’t quite up to par with the Big Four players (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest). That will likely change in 2016. This is the year that Snapchat steps into the mainstream. (Thirty percent of media planners, agencies, and brands plan to include Snapchat in their Super Bowl campaigns.)

Current Snapchat Engagement Figures

  • 54% of Snapchat users engage with the app on a daily basis.
  • 32% use it 2-5 times per week.

At this point, Snapchat interactions primarily occur between two consumers–not between brands and consumers. Most users rarely or never engage with Snapchat’s new branded features, such as Snap Live Stories and Snap Discover Stories.

How often do you watch the Snap Live Stories?

  • 23% say NEVER
  • 32% say RARELY
  • 36% say SOMETIMES

How often do you watch Snap Discover Stories?

  • 54% say NEVER
  • 30% say RARELY
  • 15% say SOMETIMES

How often do you use Branded Filters on Snapchat?

  • 42% say NEVER
  • 18% say RARELY
  • 28% say SOMETIMES

Additionally, Snapchat lacks the purchase-influence that Facebook and Instagram boast. 87% say they never buy something they saw on Snapchat. 64% say they don’t follow any celebrities.

As Marketers Enter the Snapchat Scene In 2016…
…will the way users interact with brands, celebrities, and promoted products change? Certainly. How? That remains to be seen. One thing can be guaranteed, however, and that is that high-quality content with a native feel will be a must for this platform that thrives on authenticity. Check out this SlideShare to see how Taco Bell, Audi, Sour Patch Kids, and other brands are using Snapchat with a genuine human touch.

Has your company used Snapchat?
What kind of engagement did you get? How would you do things differently on your next attempt?