The Evolution Of Snapchat For Business

Unless you have been living in a cave, you may have noticed that the ephemeral messaging app Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media platforms over the last few years.

The idea was first conceived in 2011 by Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and graduate Bobby Murphy as an idea for a class project.

The trio realised that they were on to a potential goldmine and launched the app for IOS under its maiden name of  Pictaboo in July 2011. Progression was slow initially and led to tension between the trio; Reggie Brown voiced discontent about profit splits and was ousted from the company in August 2011.

Spiegel & Murphy subsequently renamed the app Snapchat. With the help of initial funding, the burgeoning platform grew from strength to strength, launching on Android in late 2012. It proved so popular that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered the founders a mind-boggling $3 billion to buy the app – an offer which was rebuffed. Snapchat really hit new levels of popularity in late 2013 with the introduction of its Live Stories feature.


However, It has been over the last 24 months that Snapchat has really exploded. Fast-forward to 2016, as of the end of March it’s estimated that there are approximately 100 million users active on the app each day. 65% of these users actually upload content on a daily basis.

With this phenomenal success, it was only a matter of time before the company began to monetise things. With a potential daily reach of over 20 million people, Snapchat’s Discover feature – launched in late 2014 – is a no-brainer for large companies wishing to reach to a wider audience.

While advertising costs may be expensive, smaller operators are using Snapchat in a more low-cost fashion by building audiences & driving customers to follow their profiles. This is done both online & offline by using other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and/or using traditional means such as flyers, company cards or posters.


Live Stories can offer a company greater scope to display a visual representation of their business through general updates, details of events,  interviews & behind the scenes insights into its day-to-day activities. Local radio stations & restaurants, in particular, use this to great effect.

Brands can also use Live Story’s 24-hour time frame to create a sense of urgency when promoting a particular discount or offer. Another clever method is to launch a new product through a series of build-up snaps throughout the course of 24 hours.

One idea could be to create a story in the morning with a blurred-out image of the product and add new snaps over the course of the day making the product appear more and more visible each time. A fully visible image of the product could then be revealed that evening. This will build great anticipation and really capture the attention of the audience.

Snapchat is changing all of the time and it is certainly becoming more serious in terms of offering up marketing opportunities. Time will tell how important the platform will become for business but one thing is certain, Snapchat for business is here for the long haul…

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