Social Media

The Snapchat Phenomenon

Written by Sarah NAJID

Since Snapchat’s –or should we say Snap Inc now– creation in 2011 by three students of Stanford University, the platform has grown steadily; both in terms of number of users and development.


Let’s start with the beginning; what is Snapchat?

At its creation, Snapchat was only an app that allows users to send short ephemeral video or photo, that disappeared after 10 seconds, to their contacts. Nowadays, Snapchat is more than just a video app.

Indeed, in order to stay attractive on the social media planet, the yellow company had to develop its offer. This is how, Snapchat Discover (partnership with a selection of media –8 in France– to display their content 24/24), Live Stories (coverage of live events and option for users to contribute to this content), Snapchat Stories (the content lasts for 24h), SnapCash (allowing to send money directly via snap to its contacts), Spectacles (connected glasses to send directly your video on Snapchat without having to use your mobile phone) and 3V Advertising came to life!

In brief, today, Snapchat is …

Snapchat Infography


Looking at these figures, it clearly appears that Snapchat is THE new social platform to use. However, we can ask ourselves WHY such an enthusiasm for this yellow-ghost-app?


Why using Snapchat?

For the Advertisers / Brands

  • The broad reach among millennials (60% of the 13-34 years old mobile’s users) which is a valued target for businesses
  • The creation of valued and closed relationship with the client
  • The opportunity to create their own voice when advertising their brand
  • The opportunity to be different and original thanks to Snapchat’s unconventional status. Indeed, as it has been said at SnapHappenthe event organised by Snapchat in London last September with all the influencers, storytellers, marketers, etc. that are influent on the app-,

“Let limitation, Be motivation”

  • The opportunity to create local advertising through the use of “geofilters” –McDonald was the first brand using it- (by the way, Snapchat has recently launched the “On-Demand Geofilter” option in the US) or “Live Stories”. For instance, during the Black Friday, a Live Stories has been created allowing consumers and brands to share their snap on the Black Friday story. This allowed brands –more specifically Amazon and Hollister– to share on snap their reduction to attract customers in direct.

For the Users

  • The new digital generation is asking for immediate experience and engaging content they can share with all their network
  • They want authenticity, creativity, engaging and unique content; which is a challenge for brands as –at the beginning– they only had 10 seconds to convince
  • They want to feel special and are asking for more privileges such as, assisting to the Fashion Week or Festivals in virtual thanks to the Live Story of the event’s backstage.
  • Today’s consumers are in a “FOMO” trend (the Fear of Missing Out) and are looking for short and efficient content that would allow them to stay up-to-date with everything.
  • They want to feel rewarded and lucky. Lacoste understood perfectly this new demand and reacted via the creation of a game –called #SpotTheCroc- during two months where the followers had to find and screenshot the crocodile when they were spotting it in the video. Then they had to send it to the brand in order to have a chance to win the various presents!

So, what is the next step for this “not-so-start-up”?

Well, Snapchat is looking at an IPO for next year that would value the company at $25 billions. This will be a huge step for Snapchat that will allow the business to be more competitive; and especially with the launch of Instagram’s videos stories.

Another aspect that Snapchat “should” consider is the access to data. Indeed, that would help companies to realise the impact a campaign on Snapchat can have on their business. At the moment, the only way for brands to measure the performance of their presence and investment on Snapchat is via the use of coupon (example of the Dutch company Dominos).


Did you know that even recruitment is now happening on Snapchat?! Proof is with the agency DDB Oslo which invited candidates to send a short CV under a video format on Snapchat to demonstrate that the job was made for them!

Yes, Snapchat is everywhere and it is only the beginning…

What about you faithful readers?! What are the reasons why you are using Snapchat?

About the author



Driven by fashion and digital, in love with Scotland and currently living in the "City of Love", I am spending my time running around between the digital classes, the draft of my personal blog, my passion for travel and the job I have -Digital Marketing Manager for Amundi.