Social Networks

What is SnapChat and Does it Matter for Business?

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Erin Hertzenberg

Aug 12 2013

snap chat iconGet the scoop on Snapchat. Snapchat is a new social network that has been growing in popularity, especially in the “under 25” demographic. We keep hearing that younger people aren’t using Facebook anymore, and increasingly, they are spending time on Snapchat. Why? Because Snapchat is a more private social network with enhanced security features to allow for more private messaging.

What is Snapchat?

SnapChat is a new app invented by Standford Students that allows users to send pictures or videos to friends anywhere from one to ten seconds.  This fun, new app has become another form of social media that allows users to “send a moment” to friends or funny pictures for a few laughs.

Snapchat allows users to:

  • Share a photo or video with individual friends or groups of friends
  • Add a caption under a photo or video
  • Draw on the picture or video in different colors
  • Every picture and video is deleted once the recipient opens it
  • There is NO RECORD of the photo or video on either the phone of the sender or receiver

For example: A student may Snapchat a picture of an answer to a test to another student and allow the student to view the answer for 3 seconds. Once the sender hits send there is no record of the image on their phone.  When the other student receives the picture they can only view it for 3 seconds, after which it will be deleted. Therefore, if a teacher asks to see the phone there is nothing on either phone showing what you were doing.

The main thing that makes Snapchat different is that both sides of the message are automatically deleted from the phones. This is why Snapchat is often referred to as a “sexting” application. It allows users to send and receive images and videos with more privacy and security than other applications.

Can a business benefit from Snapchat?

Even though “snaps” are deleted after being opened, some businesses are using the app as a way to do quick promotions on new products or sales. Similar to other social media marketing, businesses are using it as a way to get infront of their customers – especially if their target customers are younger people who are on Snapchat.

One company featured a coupon in their snap chat account for users to come in and open their “snap” for their coupon on their discounted product.  SnapChat may not be a social media app to use for every businesses, but using the coupon idea for restaurants or stores may be a way to bring in more customers because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love discounted or free product?!?

Who Uses Snapchat?

Most of the Snapchat users are tween and teenagers.  It is a fun free app to help pass time of boredom and can be a sneaky way to share answers in school without proof for teachers to find.  You can also make fun games with friends and send pictures or videos to multiple users at once instead of sending them through a text message.

snap chat image

Some of the craziest/strangest/scariest Snapchat uses include:

  • sexting
  • drug dealers communicating without evidence
  • employees sending snaps about their boss
  • using Snapchat to cheat on tests

SnapChat is not a social media tool businesses should necessarily focus on using compared to Facebook or Twitter, but it is a form of social media businesses should be familiar with and to keep up with what is new in the social media world.



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