Image courtesy of flickr user Blogtrepreneur

Snapchat – Business fool or tool?

By Rajmeena Aujla, Associate Director, The PR Office

When my sister sends me Snaps via Snapchat, on a daily basis of my nephew looking like a cute bunny with huge floppy ears, or splashing out rainbow vomit, and my current personal favourite: wearing Harry Potter specs – it makes me think. How, as a child my, not-yet-two, nephew will go on to think about himself as he develops into a fully-fledged human. What will he identify as? An animal? A rocket? A face-swapped pixel?

Will he think of himself as anything? With more and more identities being paraded around, where do we stand when it comes to identity? Images play a big role in our identity and how we relate with one another. Why are we more and more obsessed with the mundane visuals of filters that give us instant gratification? Are we just becoming one harmonised mess? Or do the filters that we all use actually bring us together as one?

Women across the country are not alone sending Snapchat filters with their broods. We all use filters – where does it stop? Can these image filters be as effective in conveying a business message?

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., set in motion what could be the biggest tech flotation in years by revealing it generates over $400 million in annual sales and has 158 million people using its app on a daily basis.

Business Insider reported that the company filed for a $3 billion IPO, though that is a placeholder amount and certain to change as the company sets a price on the deal. In the filing, Snap disclosed that Snapchat has 158 million average daily active users as of the fourth quarter of 2016. The business is quickly evolving from the chat app that gave it its name. It has increased advertising and added news, and last year it began selling its Spectacles, eyeglasses that can take photos and record video.

Last month, Snapchat launched its annual filters for UK brands, and is allowing brands in the UK to make use of its filters for a year.

Campaign, a leading marketing trade publication reported the annual plan geofilters* means that businesses can ‘own’ the space around their properties for a year. Previously, this was limited to one month. Different filters appear on a user’s app when they are in a particular area, such as landmarks. They can take a photo and overlay the different branded filters.

Brands can also map out location and come up with creative filters that people can make use of. Snapchat claims the new plan has better rates, starting at £500, compared with £4 per day. The final price is determined by the location, space and time.

So, as Snapchat becomes more accessible to business and is more influential to the masses – should corporates and businesses alike see this change as its greatest opportunity to improve the way that people live and communicate? Or is it just another form of expression?

*Geofilters are a way to share what you’re doing or where you are on Snapchat. A Geofilter is a graphic overlay that goes on top of a video Snap or a photo Snap. To use a Geofilter, you must turn on both location services and enable the Filters feature.

Image courtesy of flickr user Blogtrepreneur

Posted in Digital and Tech, Editor's Picks, Public Relations, Social Media

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