Snapchat introduces Stories
Today Snapchat revealed a new feature; Snapchat Stories. It’s a bit like the equivalent of a Facebook newsfeed, but with a Snapchat twist. You take a series of photos or videos, add the necessary captions and /or graffiti, after which they’ll appear in all of your friends’ newsfeeds where they can be viewed repeatedly for 24 hours. After this time period the traditional ‘self destructive’ nature of the platform kicks in, and the photos and videos are gone.
From a marketing perspective, this provides brands with some obvious new opportunities. They can share content for a prolonged period of time and will be able to get a stronger message across to their audience by building a narrative that they wouldn’t be able to do with one single photo or short video.
It also gives a nice opportunity to produce content relevant to current events. As the old adage goes, today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper, so a 24-hour time slot is ideal for producing a video that relates to something timely.
However, from a user perspective I do feel as though Snapchat has weakened its brand. The whole point of the platform is that it’s instantaneous and a little risqué, but what Stories really gives you is just a way to create bad, stilted video content.
There are so many apps now that allow you to create short-form video (Instagram Video and Vine for example) that it seems a bit redundant. And the fact you can re-watch the content really steals away the blink-and-you-might-miss-it quality that’s made Snapchat so exciting and popular.
Still, however Stories are received, it’s clear that Snapchat isn’t going anywhere for now. Over 350 million snaps are shared everyday by its users and it’s far more personal than most social platforms. As of July this year, it was valued at more than $800 million, despite the fact it only came into existence in September 2011. We’ll have to wait and see whether Stories will be a lucrative addition to Snapchat’s offering, or a disappointing flop.