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We’ve been spending so much time playing Pokemon GO that we almost forgot to write about the most recent Snapchat change.
Snapchat’s newest feature, Memories, is an altered way your snaps are stored and saved, allowing you to access and repurpose them later.
Any update to an existing app always leaves me with a few questions: What’s new? What’s different? How does it affect my use? Should I even care about Snapchat?
I’ll cover all those questions in this post. But first, some background.
It’s More than Silly Filters
Explaining Snapchat to my parents was almost as hard as explaining what I do for work: “You send pictures or videos to each other . . .”
My mom, interrupting: “But can’t you just do that already?”
Me: “True. But you can add funny captions, stickers, and different personalizations to make it a tailored message. It’s pretty creative. And the whole thing expires in a few seconds, unless you upload it to your Story for everyone to see.”
Blank stare. Defeated sigh.
Whether an app like Snapchat is something you personally use or not, it may still be valuable for your brand, so it’s important to stay in the loop.
Snapchat Is Branching Out Its User Base
The most recent Snapchat change, Memories, allows the service to cater to a larger user base.
When Snapchat first came out, it was largely written off as an app that catered to the younger demographic. Now, Snapchat seems to be embracing the “maker culture” of older millennials and social media users.
This recent Chart of the Day by GlobalWebIndex shows that the age groups experiencing growth in Snapchat use are actually the ones 25 years and older:
Snapchat Memories Changes How You Publish Content
Understanding Your Snapchat Story
The new Memories feature is an effort to make your Snapchat social media broadcast more of an organized, carefully crafted experience.
Those familiar with Snapchat already have experience with the Story feature. This is where you can see content people have pushed public or just to their friends (depending on their privacy settings). It’s similar to a Facebook timeline that still holds to the standard Snapchat rules.
Like messages that are sent directly to other users, pictures and video clips posted to a user’s Story have to be ten seconds or less. But unlike direct messages, they can be viewed an unlimited number of times, and they expire after 24 hours.
Using Snapchat Memories
With Snapchat Memories, you can search your previously saved snaps and create new Stories or messages based on past content. It’s a new way to publish and repurpose content.
Above, I’m republishing my weekend at my friend’s
beer farm hops farm. It’s interesting that I can piece together a new Story based on my existing pictures and video clips. Maybe for this version, I should leave out the picture of my Famous Dave’s takeout.
Previous content that is republished on someone’s Story will have a white frame and time stamp around the outside — like the picture on the right, where I am enjoying a tasty adult beverage.
Like? Dislike? Does It Change the App Too Much?
The biggest frustration for me on a marketing logistics level has been saving photos and videos to my phone after recording them on Snapchat. Instead of just hitting Save, I now have to go into my Memories and choose to export the file. And I’m not going to admit how long it took me to find that out.
I’m all about saving time.
For marketers using other social media platforms, Snapchat used to be an easy way to get more from the same footage. Upload it to Instagram or Facebook — done!
Now it’s only a few more steps, but still — a bit of a nuisance for anyone whose job it is to manage social media.
Losing the Authenticity of User-Generated Experiences
What about the free-and-loose Snapchat? What about shooting off weird messages to your friends? Doesn’t that destroy what made Snapchat so fun to begin with?
Good point, other Mary. There are many people frustrated with the Snapchat change for reasons beyond functionality.
My biggest fear is that Snapchat will lose the authenticity it allows users to have. In other words, I’m nervous that Snapchat will lose its main draw.
Mashable made a great video that highlights why that authenticity is such a huge draw (and such a large reason the messaging app took off in the first place):
Because Snapchat users aren’t competing for likes and comments publicly, they are allowed to be their (weird/authentic/goofy) selves. In my mind, Snapchat was never meant to be a poor man’s video editing software. Why is it trying to be that now?
I’m getting flashbacks to Foursquare’s inability to recognize its own reasons for popularity when it launched Swarm back in 2014. *Shudders.*
Social Media Is Now Focusing Heavily on Video
Periscope, a live-video streaming service, allows users to broadcast what they’re doing in real time. Its motto: “Explore the world through someone else’s eyes.”
That idea is also probably the reason behind Facebook’s big push for video. Facebook recently made updates that propel video content, specifically live video, to the forefront of users’ news feeds.
Although Snapchat is a little different in that its primary use is to craft a story through personal media, the premise of visuals being the new storytelling medium is a popular one.
Stay in the Social Media Know
There are multiple ways to stay in touch and get involved with Team 9 Clouds. First, especially since we discussed it long enough, add us on Snapchat!
Just open the app, and press and hold over this picture. You can also search for the username See9Clouds.
We like talking about marketing widgets that are relevant to our clients and other marketers in this crazy digital space of the Internet and beyond. Follow our blog to stay in the know.