Snapchat’s UnSnapped Potential

I know in the past two weeks everyone has been talking about Snapchat and the ways in which they are trying to introduce new ways to advertise on their platform. What interests me, however, is why Snapchat is fast-becoming the gold rush of the millennial age.

Yes. It is true that Snapchat, in terms of growth, are not doing so well. In fact, they missed their Q1 financial target by $158 million and took a net loss of more than $2.2 million. After the release of their Q2 financial report, you can see Snapchat has had another $2.6 million loss due to the failing of their shares. However, what was also interesting was that Snapchat reported an increase of 21% (173 million) in daily active users of their app, which is more than what Instagram can boast.

So the question is, if Snapchat users are increasing every quarter why are they dropping money like it’s hot?


Well, the answer is that Snapchat holds too much control over what advertisers and companies can do on their app – talk about Kim Jung Un. Snapchat is a great platform full of untapped potential and great in many ways to reach into the mindsets of users under 25. Since we spend more time on Snapchat than we do sitting on the toilet, this is the platform worth a lot of time and effort to the right company.

We are so easily influenced by what we see our friends doing, buying, eating, drinking that Snapchatters are 55% more likely to buy things we don’t actually need than non-Snapchatters (those who don’t snap on the daily). It is also where the “early-adopters” are highly concentrated, as the platform compromises of millennials who actively try new things for the sake of it.

When you take all these things into consideration, from a marketer’s perspective this is where the gold is. While Snapchat shouldn’t free up their control to let advertisers do whatever they want (#YOLO, is that still a thing?), they should, however, allow more freedom for content creation to companies. This young audience Snapchat possesses, marketers just can’t reach through TV advertising, Facebook ads and Instagram altogether.


If Snapchat is where it’s at, then shouldn’t we let the rest get in on it too? Or from a consumer point of view, are you done with ads altogether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


featured image source:
Dynamic Snapchat Logo/Icon


Author: AM

I like to write and I thought maybe I would give blogging a shot. I'll let you know if it was worth it.

23 thoughts on “Snapchat’s UnSnapped Potential”

  1. Hey John,
    Thanks for the comment! What kind of youtube platform features were you thinking of integrating into Snapchat’s algorithm? Cause I would love to see what that would look like. Perhaps, an inclusion like that could determine how Snapchat separates themselves from Instagram and Facebook altogether.
    Also, I am pretty sure Vine closed down because of Snapchat. So I guess you could say they really did gain on their competitive advantage in that respect.


  2. Hi, great post it was really interesting. Instagram definitely has serious potential in engaging its users. Sure Facebook has a newsfeed that users can scroll through endlessly. However, Snapchat really utilises the power of video to keep their users entertained. I do think Snapchat should integrate some of the features of Youtube into their app. I feel they would be more competitive and could attract new users and new talent to the app. Snapchat could really gain from the loss of interest in competing apps such as Vine as well. I also agree Snapchat is probably the most suitable for targeting a wide range of young consumers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! From a daily snapchatter point of view, I think it is nice to know Snapchat has control over the advertising and companies on their app. Consumers would not want ads to be disrupting their daily usage of Snapchat like how other social media apps does. Ads are everywhere nowadays, on mostly every social media platform. On the other hand, it is a very good platform for marketers to promote and place their ads on Snapchat. The statistics you’ve shown definitely shows us the reasons for marketers to advertise on Snapchat and as a fellow Snapchatter, I do agree on how we snap during and after shopping. It is a great position for advertisers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rachel! Totally agree! From a consumer perspective it is great to know that Snapchat is not just letting willy nilly anyone to put ads. I think that is why Snapchat is so popular compared to facebook and instagram. And why they continue to attract more consumers.

      Yeah! There have been many articles I have read in relation to this, that encourages consumers to buy more because those on Snapchat are at a position in their purchase decision journey, where they are looking for validity before buying a product.


  4. Interesting read! I think Snapchat is still growing and companies are trying to figure out how to really market on the platform. It’s really different from marketing on other social media platforms and poses a unique challenge for marketers. Snapchat has a highly engaged millennial audience and it’s not as competitive compared to other platforms. I also think Snapchat is still trying to figure out their advertising platform. It’s tricky to balance a great user experience and relevant ads so this may be why they are so strict on content creation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think you probably hit the spot on this one.

      Snapchat is relatively new, and I don’t think we even saw a prominent amount of advertisements on Facebook until it was really mature (6-8 years after it opened).

      Perhaps Snapchat still has a long way to go in developing the right strategy in terms of marketing on their platform.

      Im curious, what would you do if you were in charge of adverts on Snapchat?


  5. I’m not the biggest snapchat user, I post stories here and there and check out other friends stories but not often enough that I look at it a few times a day. Whenever I take a photo and want to post it as a story, I never know whether to choose Insta stories or Snapchat to post it, but I feel like a lot more people (particularly our age) are using Instagram stories instead as it does have some pretty cool features. I personally think if they started putting in more advertisements, it would lead consumers like myself to just stop using the app all together and focus my attention on Instagram only so I don’t think ads are the way to go. But using discount codes as mentioned above is a good idea and would be more attractive for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mmm. This is definitely food for thought for many advertisers thinking of this platform. Althought there are many millennials and gen y on the platform, we are also the most aware when it comes to realising when it is an advertisement and when its not. So it could definitely deter more users away from Instagram. But my question is; we still use Instagram despite having “in-feed” advertisements (as well as Facebook), so why would having advertisements on Snapchat be any different if they can make it feel organic?


  6. I think the issue with snapchat at the moment is that there is a fine line between them using it for personal and business purposes. At the moment snapchat is seen as a personal platform, where many others such as Instagram and Facebook no longer feel as personal because they are being bombarded with advertising. I think marketers at snapchat need to be cautious with using it’s potential because if they turn it into another version of Facebook people may slowly stop using it and it could lose popularity.
    But I definitely agree that is has so much potential. Even from the Sensis Social Media report you can see that visual content platforms like Snapchat are rapidly increasing in popularity. I personally wouldn’t want more ads on Snapchat though, the few that are on there now really annoy me haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I guess that is the downside of turning any social media platform into a tool to be used by businesses. But it could well be that we do start seeing ads on Snapchat and just tolerate it like we do with Facebook , Instagram and Youtube.


  7. Hi Arny! After reading this post on your blog I feel exactly 100% in common opinion. I snap every single time I do shopping and also check out my friends’ snap to see what and where they shopped. It is a brilliant idea that snapchat should be more opened for companies to have their advertisement on it. This is just like a win-win solution in which snapchat can get more profit and companies are able to market their products on social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Some interesting statistics! I think the reason Snapchat is losing market value so quickly, in spite of increasing users, is that it’s just so hard to monetise. I don’t know that advertising will be a viable solution for them, so it’s possible that the platform may just go away altogether (or, more likely, it will be acquired at a lower price by another platform, who will integrate its infrastructure into their existing service).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps we will see what happened to Instagram, happen with Snapchat? If they don’t come up with a solution to start breaking even and making a profit then that could be a reality.

      But honestly, if Snapchat were to be bought by someone else, I think they would keep it as is. There is too much activity from the under 25 that it would be a waste by making it extinct. Facebook was really good at monetizing Instagram and Google with Youtube. Sooo… It might not be the end of trying to use Snapchat as a marketing tool but they might run under a different company….?


  9. I think the most alarming part of this is that i came across a snapchat advertisement the other day, that didn’t seem professional or high quality, so i continued watching the advert thinking it was just another one of my friends videos. Shows the potential of marketers and how strongly they are able to reach audiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wooow! Really? That is interesting since the artcile I read said that advertisers need to show months worth of work to showcase that they can continuously produce *High Quality* content. So that seems so strange!!

      Do you remember what the ad was for?? Perhaps it was a tactic of theirs to blend into the platform and to look more organic?


  10. I don’t know if it’s just me but I personally have always found Snapchat more a personal platform where I just view my friend’s stories rather than follow celebrities and brands on it, so personally I never really thought Snapchat was a platform to advertise on! It’s not a bad idea to, but if I was in the middle of viewing someone’s story and an ad pops up (like it already does sometimes) I do find it a little annoying! But ad’s on the discover bit then I’m ok with, but I don’t know if many clicks on that bit of Snapchat!

    Perhaps a way for brands to tap into advertising on Snapchat is to provide discount codes exclusive to Snapchat! Since most users are millennials we don’t have that much $$ to spend on items so we’re always on the hunt for a discount code! I think if brands did that then Snapchat users might not mind the ads too much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah discount codes could be a way a to go! As I discussed with Brendon before they could use it to offer discounts on products if they snapped themselves with it? Similar to instagram marketing tactics.

      Also Snapchat is such a great place for reactive marketing, since it is where the under 25 live. We are constantly aware of viral media and Snapchat, can function like twitter where they send out a Snap every time something crazy happens and relate it to their brand in a positive way.

      But its true! Snapchat is more for socialising for myself too. So I don’t know I would feel if they started advertising on this platform. But then again, I haven’t stopped using instgram so… Maybe we will just tolerate it like we do with everything else?


  11. Well said Brendon and thanks for commenting!
    Obviously I try to stay unbias and write with facts to let you guys decide but I totally agree with what you’re saying about organically producing advertising through Snapchat.

    Yeah, Snapchat does have incredibly high standards for advertisers to meet and that is probably the reason why most don’t even bother. I perceive however that the youtube idea wouldn’t get as much attention because you can just skip it so most users wouldn’t pay attention. I had this one idea while writing this piece; what if Snapchat allowed retailers to use their interface to get discounts? “snap product x and get 10% off your next order”, similar to what instagram does. And with Snap maps it is much easier for retailers to get free advertising if they were able to use the interface in this way. There is so much potential for Snapchat to go so right, but right now they are very wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I for one noticed the drastic drop of friends posting their stories on snapchat. The first reason why snapchat’s usage has dropped is due to the fact that their competitors, specifically Facebook and its affiliate, Instagram are now allowing users to post their stories as well.

    Facebook has tons of information besides friends’ statuses such as news, video entertainments and now a marketplace. Furthermore, Facebook is designed in a way that they can blend their advertisements with normal content where consumers feel like they are just another Facebook post, increasing the chance of getting clicked.

    For snapchat, you have to specifically click on the ads from the discover or live section. There is no or little chance for advertisements being seen organically. Having read the article from socialmediopolis, snapchat indeed gives advertisers a tough time by imposing high barriers for entry such as their strict video content criteria. They need months worth of content just to prove advertisers can produce quality videos (Just why??).

    I would suggest Snapchat to lower their stringent criteria for advertisers, more options for them and may perhaps mimic video players from youtube or playwire etc. where advertisements are played before the video starts with the option to close it after a few seconds. Implement this in their users’ stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. With the growing number of competitors. Facebook and many other social media platforms adopting something similar to Snapchat, such as Instagram where they now have Instastory which is very similar to Snapchat. From my own personal experience, many of my friends have switched from being active on Snapchat to now being more active on Instagram. This could be due to the fact that Instagram has more functions as compared to Snapchat, to the consumers it’s a new function. From my personal understanding, Snapchat contacts are being added based on usernames or contacts, but Instagram has the browse function where a non-private profile can be easily viewed by many. Therefore reaching out to the audience would be made easier through Instagram as compared to Snapchat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for commenting!
      Perhaps you mistake “switching” for “sharing”, since Snap story can be imported to your insta story. So, insta story has gotten much of it popularity because it lets users just post their content from snapchat on instagram in one swipe.

      If you are talking about right now, Instagram may be the easier platform for advertisers, brands and their companies to utilise in promoting their brands. BUT do not forget that Facebook owns instagram and that is why it is so easy for brands to use this platform, as Facebook has given them freedom of content on both platforms. There is NO social media platform that can outrank the amount of usage and screen-time that Snapchat can boast.

      But if Snapchat let brands and advertisers have more freedom to create their own content on the platform, their will be more traffic derived from advertisements on Snapchat than Instagram. And also allow them to create it organically then definitely, Snapchat has the potential to be the best tool to reach us.


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