Snapchat, an application (app) used for quick and simple photo/video messaging, unveiled its largest update to users a couple of days ago with the addition of “Discover”.
On January 27, Snapchat’s blog (http://blog.snapchat.com/post/109302961090/introducing-discover
) was updated to showcase the perks of “Discover”. This new feature allows companies to advertise in a fun, innovative way to Snapchat’s primary public… high school and college students. CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice, Yahoo! News and Warner Music Group are all current advertisers.
Not only is this a goldmine for the companies involved, but also for the free app. Discover is one of the few sources of income for Snapchat and a profitable one at that.
Discover is much more than boring news articles that viewer’s eyes skim over daily. The feature offers a seamless and beautiful effect of picture, video, sound and text in an engaging fashion.
As a college student, I have found myself enjoying Discover much more than I had expected to. The brands involved produce both news and entertainment in a way that captures the viewer’s attention. Snapchat has also found a way to tuck this content in a designated tab for users to intentionally pull up, which gives control over the feature. Many free apps turn users away with their annoying pop up advertisements, like the popular app, Trivia Crack, which flashes ads after each game played.
Snapchat was in dire need of an exciting update after the negative press that seemed to plague the app for years. From changes in policy, to hacks endangering security and privacy, Snapchat has seen its days of bad PR. I hope (and I’m sure Snapchat is crossing its fingers too) that these new features will allow the app to thrive. After being named “most unreliable” and only receiving one star for customer privacy policies by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it is imperative for Snapchat to do some serious image repair for its brand.
However, as PR professionals (and pre-professionals) we must consider if this update is relevant to the app. Snapchat was created primarily for sending private “snaps” and posting “stories”. Was this media deal too unrelated to the app’s purpose or does it fit nicely with its forward thinking?
Sarah Cain, Spring 2015 Account Manager
Sarah Cain is a senior, graduating this May – something that she is both proud and excited about. Sarah currently holds the leadership position of Vice President for the UNC Charlotte PRSSA chapter. She hopes to land a job in agency or corporate PR in the wonderful city of Charlotte. Sarah’s interests lie in social media, some graphic design and writing in general. Connect with her @sarahhhcain on Twitter or Instagram.