The SnapChat evolution began in September 2011. Since then, SnapChat has become one of the most powerful apps to reach 13 to 34 year-olds – the coveted millennial and generation Z audiences. Originally, SnapChat was known as a “sexting app” because the pictures and videos that users sent would disappear after a couple seconds. However since then, the app has grown in popularity, especially with millennial consumers, who now use it to communicate with friends and family and engage with brands, such as CNN and CoverGirl.
SnapChat’s Growing Audience
More than 60 percent of smartphone users in the 13 to 34 year-old age bracket are snapping away to “get perspective,” “be here, now” and “express yourself” according to SnapChat’s website. The app began when co-founders Reggie Brown, Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel wanted a way for pictures to disappear – it was originally called Picaboo. In its first few months, the app had 127 users and continued to grow, as high schoolers became the primary audience. Today, there are more than 100 million SnapChat users worldwide. Because of this rapid growth, SnapChat continues to incorporate different features, such as private messaging, individual stories and even Snapcash where users can send and receive money from their friends.
Follow The White House and Other Brands?
With SnapChat’s increase in popularity, especially among the younger demographic, companies are now using the app to engage with users and strengthen their brand. The Discover feature of the app was added in January 2015, allowing brands such as Buzzfeed, Mashable and ESPN to showcase editorial content and tell their brand’s stories. For those not featured on the Discover page – celebrities, places and events – they can create their own SnapChat account and share pictures and videos with their followers.
SnapChat has become yet another way for brands to broadcast their content in a personalized, behind-the-scenes way. Celebrities share videos while they’re getting ready for photoshoots and award shows, while music festivals feature backstage question and answer sessions with artists and clips from performances. This type of content reduces FOMO for people that couldn’t attend the event and lets attendees relive the best moments.
Most recently, the White House made headlines when it made an official account and showed followers “behind-the-scenes look at the State of the Union prep.” For more from the White House, add “WhiteHouse” on SnapChat.
In just five years, SnapChat has experienced tremendous growth. It went from being an app associated with sending inappropriate images that disappear quickly to being another way for brands to reach targeted audiences and keep them up to date. This new medium is allowing brands and companies to target consumers who do not primarily consume media through traditional platforms. What’s next for SnapChat? For now, happy snapping!
Shaun Luberski is a Junior Public Relations Associate at Flackable, a national public relations agency supporting the communications needs of registered investment advisors (RIAs) and other forward-thinking financial services firms. To learn more about Flackable, please visit www.flackable.com.