If you’re not a teenager, you’re probably not incredibly familiar with Snapchat, a mobile app that delivers a temporary content sharing service. According to the app, Snapchat is “a new way to share photos with friends and family. We’re making ‘social media’ fun again.” Users snap photos or videos within the app and share with friends. The catch is that the shared content is only available for 1–10 seconds, which is determined by the sender. When the time is up, the photo/video is no longer viewable. Launched in May 2011 and widely criticized as a teen sexting app, Snapchat claims that it’s all about “sharing authentic moments, … sometimes it’s an inside joke, a silly face, or greetings from a pet fish.” It turns out that Snapchat might actually be onto something, because the app now sees 50 million photo uploads per day.
This concept of sharing temporary content is also intriguing enough to catch Facebook’s attention. TechCrunch reports that “Facebook is building a stand-alone app to compete with the red-hot impermanent photo-messaging app Snapchat,” with plans to launch by the end of the year. This news not only gives credit and visibility to Snapchat, but also opens up the discussion around instantaneous communication and capturing moments.
I’m very interested to see how this rising trend translates from individuals to brands and marketers. Imagine brands sharing temporary, exclusive content with select consumers for sweepstakes entries, rewards, loyalty programs, prizes, etc.
What do you think about this idea of temporary content? How could brands leverage this trend to share content with target audiences?