Snapchat have introduced Discover, which is big news for brands.
The feature, announced on Snapchat’s Tumblr account, intends to puts storytelling first. They insist that “[t]his is not social media.” Instead of pushing content towards users based on the typical Facebook and Twitter algorithms of clicks and shares, Discover relies on “editors and artists” to produce compelling narratives that people using the app will find organically. They insist that the technology has been built to serve artists, rather than to coerce creatives to adapt to the media.
As has always been the case with Snapchat, all editorials will have a 24 hour life, “because whats’s news today is history tomorrow.”
The first batch of brands making the most of the new space includes MTV, Yahoo News, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, and Vice among others. Each channel features video and highly stylised motion graphics that illustrate what’s hot in the brand’s sphere of influence. The one recurring factor is the “See You Tomorrow” slide each story ends with. Media companies have been helping to develop the feature with Snapchat for months, as brands intend to advertise through sponsored stories.
What’s The Cost?
The news broke recently that Snapchat were asking for a reported $750,000 for a sponsored Story – the nearest thing to an advert on the platform until now. Brands are assured that a Story generates 1 billion views in its 24 hour lifespan, while Bloomberg Business states that Snapchat has 100 million monthly active users sending 700 million self-destructing Snaps and viewing 500 million Stories each day.
Since the app started running these ads in late 2014, we have seen brands like Universal Studios, McDonald’s, EA and Taco Bell making the most of the feature to reach micro-content consuming audiences.
Is There A Catch?
The problem with advertising through snapchat is the lack of reporting metrics. With no tangible measure of people’s engagement with each branded Story, it’s difficult to know the effectiveness of your investment. The fact that engaging on Snapchat means holding down on the screen does show that those who do watch are truly interested, though.
There is also an inability to distinguish which groups of people are viewing your brand’s Story; there’s no way of comparing views by gender or age, for example. However, Snapchat’s recent research shows that the first round of ads were positively received by their target 18 to 24-year old users, so this would appear to be a step in the right direction for the app.
Despite the high price and lack of engagement data offered by Snapchat, online retailer Asos still intends to invest its efforts into the app to reach its core teenage audience. According to Hanna Craik, “our customers use Snapchat and want us to.”
The company already uses the platform to share discount codes organically, but a sponsored presence could increase impressions significantly – if immeasurably.
Over To You
What do you think? Is Snapchat Discover the next big win for brands?