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How Snapchat Has Transformed Social Media

Is there any Gen Z or millennial who is not obsessed with Snapchat filters? Oh, wait, which generation isn’t! The app’s tagline, “Life’s more fun when you live in the moment :),” aptly justifies what the experience offers. Conceived in 2011 by two Stanford University students, the Snapchat app introduced college and high school kids to ephemeral messaging, i,e.; people could send messages that disappear within the span of 24 hours. But did you know that back then, youngsters were using this application to share imprudent pictures? Well, Snapchat has come a long way now, transforming how people engage and share content on social media. This powerful social media application proudly has 332 million daily users exchanging more than 4 billion Snaps daily!

Undoubtedly, Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social media applications of recent times. Its spontaneity of posting pictures and videos daily to maintain a “streak” is its most potential X-factor. Also, when compared to its competitors, Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat has eliminated the recurring social media elements like filling out forms and liking or commenting on posts, enabling it to create its unique presence.

‘Snap,’ the company owning the application, also started collaborating with big brands by showing their 10 seconds clip in-between user stories, further amplifying the growth and popularity. With such developments, Snapchat has transformed the social media landscape, and it looks like it's not going to stop anytime soon! With that said, let us explore how exactly Snapchat is transforming the course of social media.

Reminding you to send a streak, if not frequent, Snapchat encourages a daily exchange of content.

If you don’t use Snapchat, you must have at least once heard “my streak is running out” from one of your peers using the app. That’s the kind of urgency this social media platform creates. Not to mention how easy and simple it has made your friendships where you don’t talk much but stay aware of each other’s life through daily steak sharing, Snapchat has raised the stakes for fleeting content.

You “friend” only those people on Snapchat with whom you actually want to keep in touch. The streak relationship with these friends allows you to exchange pictures or videos, having a time limit of one second to infinity. Snapchat stories, typically 10-15 seconds photos or video clips that inspired almost every popular social media platform to introduce the concept of user stories, have a limit of 24 hours.

These are the main reasons behind the whopping 80% engagement rate of Snapchat. It generates a curiosity where users are driven to exchange glimpses of each other’s lives daily.

The AR Gamification is keeping it ahead in the social media game.

Snapchat marks the beginning of pioneering Augmented Reality filters. It has laid down the foundation for several standard formats, such as the selfie camera facial recognition that other social media platforms later adopted. The platform has embarked on the creation of a purely new content genre that was previously unknown in the world of social media.

Snapchat introducing AR and gamification was an unexpected move a few years ago. These AR filters allow real-time gamification where users can transform their facial features, shape, and much more. The use of AR filters went so widely viral that Instagram incorporated the same approach later.

Apart from the selfie filters, Snapchat gamifies the experience by giving users scores based on how many snaps they’ve exchanged. Recently, the platform added a Snapchat Trophy case comprising emojis for accomplishments a user gains. Milestones indicate sending a Snapchat with a temperature filter above 100 degrees or exchanging more than 1k Snapchats using the front-facing camera.

Snapchat keeps updating its filters daily. The social media app also invites brands to purchase these filters and strengthen their social media marketing, creating a win-win situation for the brand and the platform. Brands and social media influencers are also free to create GeoFilter paying a minimum amount to display the AR version of their shop or product. These features deliver fun and exciting incentives to the users simply for using the app, making Snapchat stand out from other social platforms.

Snapchat easily incorporates other social media or e-commerce platforms.

Snapchat is highly inclusive of e-commerce and social media platforms. It smoothly integrates brands, influencers, and other social media apps.

Firstly, product/post sharing is effortless on Snapchat. Users can share their story or a story posted by any brand or channel on several other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, just within a few clicks.

When it comes to collaboration, it has a record of collaborating with Shopify and TikTok, with the list getting longer. Along with improving social media marketing in the lockdown phase, brands also started disrupting consumer interaction and customer experience by using Augmented Reality for ‘try-ons’ to avoid post-delivery dissatisfaction. Thus, multiple brands have started try-on campaigns for clothes and shoes on Snapchat.

Moreover, Snapchat runs digital ads to display a product/service for brands efficiently and is expected to integrate payment processes too in real-time. If executed rightly, this may eliminate the need for users to navigate third-party sites, marking the dawn of a new kind of social media shopping.

It is the reason why short video content has become so popular.

Everyone is aware of the origin of reels. Yes, this trend-setter was again Snapchat. The growing popularity of Snapchat videos indicates why short video content is high in demand. As user attention span shortens, such videos are said to remain the center stage of social media. Following Snapchat’s footsteps, social media platforms like Instagram have launched short video content ‘as Reels’, and YouTube has also done the same, calling it “shorts.” Other social media platforms are also expected to adopt the pattern sooner or later.

The platform allows users to explore beyond regular social media boundaries.

Snapchat keeps you up-to-date about what’s going into the lives of your favorite celebrities by directly connecting you with them through their daily stories. So, if you want to be in Kylie Jenner’s world, you can subscribe to her on Snapchat for a daily sneak peek.

Similar to this idea, Snapchat promotes community building and gathering support for potential movements or revolutions. Moreover, it allows the users to use geolocation and contribute their support by sharing their stories. It even adds geolocational filters that users can use to show their support. For instance, Snapchat celebrated Pride month in full swing, culminating with stories of different people worldwide.

Snapchat allows you to share and see full stories without being swamped with ads.

Intentional or not, most social media social platforms storm user feeds with ads. Contrastingly, Snapchat offers users the freedom when to view brands’ content. Once you choose the brands you want to follow; the Discover panel shows you only their ads. The discover option displays only those brand channels that can draw an audience of up to 40 million people within 24 hours. What’s more? It allows users to connect with the brand and its related activities in real-time, making the buyer-seller relationship look more like a friendship. So, users can also subscribe to live events like movie screenings, award shows, the latest news coverage, and more.

While some may point to the tiny breaks in the middle of these stories, it’s noteworthy that, unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat allows users to skip the ad within 3-5 seconds simply by tapping their finger on the screen.

What’s next?

Snapchat is an unpredictable social media platform that may surprise you with unique features in the near future. Though it has struggled with its user interface and user experience issues in the past, the amends made for the backlash are yet to be concluded as meh or yay. But, if we take a broader look while keeping the UI issues aside, there is nothing Snapchat is not offering its users. It has streaks, stories, brands, gamification, advanced tech like AR & VR, geofilter, and so much more. With its Snap Originals, it even aims to compete with Netflix while delivering short broadcast series episodes for Gen Z.

Thus, we cannot deny Snapchat is transforming social media and how users interact with it. For now, the platform continues to be a social media giant, with 332 million daily users, and some predict its revenue may skyrocket from $2 billion in 2020 to nearly $5 billion by 2025. While that is yet to be witnessed, let’s exchange streaks? Let us know your thoughts about Snapchat in the comments below!

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