Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Register Here
Close

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.
Register Here
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Will Snapchat’s Latest Changes Save it?

By Kate Fodera

Will Snapchat’s Latest Changes Save it?

If you keep up with the latest gossip, it’s not uncommon to see controversy surrounding social networks or apps, and, as we’re all quickly learning in the digital space, Snapchat is no exception.

Some mishaps have been widely reported on, especially when big name celebrities such as Rihanna or Kylie Jenner have been involved, but if you ask any marketer, they’ll likely point out a few other issues.

That’s right - I’m talking about the inherent design and experience flaws with the platform.

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

The Problems with Snapchat


For brands, Snapchat’s popularity and unique offering early on sparked great interest, but as time passed, this died down due to the built-in limitations of platform.

Snapchat poses some general issues such as the inability for the content they create to be viewed by the general public (aka users who doesn’t actively follow the brand) and the fact that there are very little engagement opportunities.

These two flaws pose major problems for marketers as it’s crucial to be able to not only create great, valuable content for general consumption but also to be able to engage with a new audience.

To be discovered as well as be able to comment back, like, share, etc. is important when it comes to helping a brand become more trusted and more humanistic.

The growing dissatisfaction is present on the user end as well.

For users, the recent user experience updates have made the platform much more difficult to do the things that they want to do.

To put it concisely, Snapchat put all Stories and messages from your friends (the people you follow) to the left of the camera and organized by who you view and engage/talk with most.

It also organizes these Stories by putting those from your friends on the top rather than who posts the most content up at the top. Lastly, all of the content that has been created or curated by brands or influencers are now to the right of the camera, sorted by your past viewing behavior.

These changes have likely been made in an attempt to allow users to get more of what they want in an easier way but if you’ve been on Twitter at all, you’ve seen many people aren’t happy about it - and they’re quick to share that sentiment.

Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities said, “They clearly didn’t do their homework in testing with users and anticipating reaction.”

And an even more direct tweet from Kylie Jenner was followed by a huge drop in the company’s stock.

However, despite these changes to help users enjoy the app more, Snapchat is still seeing a significant drop in business and overall usage.

“Overall, from August to November 2016, the average unique viewers per Snapchat Story has decreased about 40%” says Nick Cicero, CEO of creative studio and social video analytics platform Delmondo.

Also noted in the same article from TechCrunch, “Social talent agent Charlie Buffin who represents some former Vine stars says one of his top creators was averaging 330,000 views per day on Snapchat in late 2015 until June 2016. But by December, they were receiving 205,000 to 250,000 views per day.

“It is clear to us that regular users’ Snapchat usage/engagement have gone down significantly since the release of Instagram Stories” writes Buffin.

In the past few weeks, Snapchat has introduced even more changes to the platform in hopes of winning them back.

So, that leads us to ask, “Will Snapchat’s latest changes save it?”

The Latest Snapchat Updates


Aside from the updates mentioned above, Snapchat is adding even more to its platform in order to bring back the users and turn those users into advocates.

User Mentions

It has been a long time coming, but Snapchat is finally adding user mentions - far behind the competition (cough cough Instagram cough cough)  who rolled this feature out months ago.

With this new update, users can tag others (including friends or brand accounts) in their stories and the app will notify the tagged user.

While it seems like a simple and even non-important update, it’s the exact opposite. 

This update allows the app to help put the social back into its social media platform, by opening up engagement beyond just people you’re already connected with.

Marketers should also take note of this update.

Mentions gives brands the chance to know when users are talking about them and be able to feature/mention them in return in their own posts. This kind of personal interaction fills a huge gap in Snapchat’s engagement abilities.

Plus, if users are spending more time on the platform, there’s a better chance that brand content can be seen by users during that time frame - either through ads in between Stories or even sponsored snapchat filters.

snapchat-ad-deck

 

Video Calling

Another update to the app is group video calling.

group-calling_en

Video calling has been an option for a while, but now, up to 16 people can join. Again, this allows the app to get back to its social roots.

Even more, they’ve upped the game with the competition as Google Hangouts only allow 10 users and Facebook Messenger only allows 6.

Plus, in true Snapchat fashion, all 16 users can even add filters to their faces to make the call a little bit more fun. Who doesn’t love that?

From a Snapchat user perspective, these new features should certainly allow them to better connect with their network through the app. They’ll be able to tag their friends, hop on a group video call to discuss weekend plans, and they’ll be able to do it all with a flower crown filter adorning their head.

Unlike the UX shake-up in February, these features are meant to make the app more engaging and social.

I can’t help but think that perhaps this is a way to bring back those users who they lost through the reformatting update.

Snapchat Updates From a Marketer Perspective

Snapchat can be “fun enough” for users looking for another way to connect with the people they care about most but marketers need to evaluate these social platforms through different, ROI-colored lenses.

So, with all of these new changes, is it worth it for marketers and brands to invest in this platform over the competition?

Well, I’m not so sure…

Snapchat has recently suffered steep losses as Instagram, owned by Facebook, has attracted hundreds of millions of users to its Stories feature which was created as a direct play against Snapchat) and marketers with its reach opportunities like ads, hashtags, tags, and more.

This was a bold move by Facebook but wasn’t an unexpected one.

With Snapchat scooping up a lot of its audience, it was only a matter of time before Facebook tried to incorporate the same experience into their own, owned platform.

Even more, brands have caught onto the fact that its fans and followers are the ones in control.

Makeup brand, Maybelline flat out asked its audience if Snapchat platform was worth the time or energy in the following tweet:

Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 7.20.00 PM

According to NY Magazine, When the poll was still live – it had two hours to go and 81 percent of the 5,000 or so people who had voted chose the “bail for Instagram” option.

Yikes.

But really, you can’t blame the brand for asking. There is a lot that goes into social content creation, especially at a brand level.

Now, this may not be the same for every brand’s audience, but this is a powerful example that perhaps every brand, including yours, needs to think twice about continuing or investing in Snapchat marketing. 

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s all about your users and your marketing goals.

If your audience is still on the platform, if you’re providing valuable content on it that is showing ROI, and if you’ve identified that you’ve got the budget to test it out, go for it.

In general, this industry is all about testing, testing some more, and then testing again. There are rarely (if ever) any “end all - be all” tactics and strategy to get the biggest ROI for any industry.

While users are dropping off of the platform and there has been some negativity about all of the changes, other users seem to understand that these updates are bound to happen and it’s just one more thing to get used to.

Snapchat recognizes that things aren’t great and it’s making efforts to bring those users back.

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Topics:

Social Media Marketing
Snapchat Marketing
Published on April 16, 2018

Recent Articles

How To Build an Effective Instagram Video Marketing Strategy
April 30, 2022 • 12 min read
How Facebook's news feed algorithm works and prioritizes content
July 14, 2021 • 4 min read
Data: Facebook is No. 1 in revenue value for publishers, Twitter is a bust
July 7, 2021 • 4 min read
Best times to post on social media in 2021 (new data)
May 19, 2021 • 4 min read
Twitter fails to buy Clubhouse, whose creators can now make money... so what?
April 8, 2021 • 6 min read
Marketers, Facebook Analytics will be no more on June 30, 2021
April 2, 2021 • 2 min read
7 Best Social Media Management Tools (+ Video)
March 26, 2021 • 12 min read
12 ways you're totally blowing your business social media strategy
March 24, 2021 • 11 min read
Twitter teases Super Follows, Communities; undo send tweet still a rumor
March 11, 2021 • 4 min read
LinkedIn adds new 'Products' highlight tab on company pages
February 25, 2021 • 2 min read
54 jaw-dropping social media statistics for businesses [New for 2021]
February 23, 2021 • 8 min read
Facebook video best practices: what you need to know to grow your video presence
February 16, 2021 • 9 min read
27 best digital marketing news sites
January 26, 2021 • 7 min read
Should you care about Clubhouse, the new audio-based social media app?
January 19, 2021 • 3 min read
How to maximize lead generation via Facebook posts and ads
January 18, 2021 • 4 min read
Working with IMPACT on paid media: What to expect
January 13, 2021 • 4 min read
Instagram advertisers can create branded content ads on creators’ accounts
January 6, 2021 • 2 min read
The top 10 social media trends for brand survival in 2021 [Infographic]
January 2, 2021 • 4 min read
6 holiday campaign examples that are total showstoppers
December 25, 2020 • 5 min read
Pinterest continues diversity and inclusion efforts with new features and leadership
December 16, 2020 • 3 min read
TikTok still available in the US despite not reaching a sell-off deal
December 11, 2020 • 2 min read
New Pinterest weighted ads have better CX customization
December 8, 2020 • 3 min read
Social media image sizes guide for 2020, 2021, and beyond (+ examples)
November 11, 2020 • 13 min read
New report: 2021 social media marketing predictions
November 10, 2020 • 4 min read
How Major League Baseball enhanced their fan community during COVID-19
November 5, 2020 • 3 min read