oh snapSnapchat launched in May 2014 as a way for people to send their friends images and videos that could be viewed for a very short time, and would then disappear forever.  If you are like me it may be difficult to understand the value or the allure of this application.  However, it has become an extremely popular app, and was, in fact, recently valued at $10 Billion!  So, for those who have not yet downloaded the app, and are not sure they should, here are the main features of Snapchat:

  • Snapchat is a free photo/video messaging application available on iOS (Apple) and Android smart phones. (The official app is not available on Windows phones, but third party clients have cropped up.)
  • You can only message other Snapchat members.
  • You can search for members by allowing Snapchat to view your contact list within your phone or you can search for their names within the Snapchat app.
  • You can send a still image or a video.
  • You can write over the video either using the virtual pen or typing in the caption box.
  • You can add “filters,” including the time of day, weather, and other data to the picture.
  • Once your contact opens your picture or video, it will remain available for up to 10 seconds. (You set a timer to say how long images stay live – but only up to 10 seconds and then it disappears forever.)
  • You can activate a feature called “My Story.”  This will allow your contact to access the photo or video as many times as they want for up to 24 hours. After that, it’s gone.

Once you have downloaded the Snapchat app, here is a step-by-step guide to sending a Snap:

  1. Open the application by tapping the Yellow “Ghost.”
  2. This automatically opens the camera.
  3. To take a snap, tap the circle at the bottom of the screen.
  4. To take a video, hold the circle down for up to 10 seconds. (You can only take 10-second videos.)
  5. Once you have taken the image, there are icons at the bottom of the screen:
    1. Timer. Tap to set the timer from 1 to 10 seconds.
    2. Download. You can save the image to your own phone.
    3. Story.  You can make the image/video available to recipients for 24 hours.
    4. Arrow. Sends the image/video to a friend or group of friends.
  6. Press the pencil in the upper right corner to write a message which will appear over the image.
  7. Press the center of the image and a text box opens so you can type a message (appears over the image)
  8. To add “filters,” before you send the image, swipe right.  Allows you to add weather, time and other data.

Some brands are coming up with creative ways to use Snapchat for marketing, and if you are targeting the right demographic, you may want to explore Snapchat a bit further. In fact, here are a few statistics from Digital Marketing Ramblings that might help explain why marketers are interested in leveraging this platform:

  • There are 100 million active users monthly
  • 70% of users are women
  • 71% of users are under the age of 25
  • 58% of college students using Snapchat would purchase a product from a brand that sent a Snapchat coupon