The original concept for Snapchat (launched in 2011) was a mobile messaging application used to create and share short-lived content (including photos, videos, text, and drawings called “snaps”) that self-destruct within seconds after being shared. In a very short time since its inception, Snapchat has become hugely popular and evolved along with its popularity.
Snapchat has become a messaging app. “You can take a photo or a video with it, then add a caption or doodle or lens graphic over top, and send it to a friend. Alternatively, you can add it to your ‘story,’ a 24-hour collection of your photos and videos, which you broadcast to the world or just your followers,” according to Pocket-lint, the largest independent gadget news and reviews site in the UK.
Recently, Snapchat has moved away from its original concept with many new features and hacks you should know about.
Memories Now Lets You Curate Content
Snapchat Memories contains four sections: Snaps you’ve taken, Stories you’ve posted, Camera Roll (photos from your phone’s camera), and My Eyes Only. Hubspot reports that you can, “Save a Snap you’ve taken within the Snapchat interface by tapping the icon in the lower left of the screen. The saved photo will now be available in the “Snaps” section of Memories. The search feature rivals Google’s Photos app, allowing you to search by location, date, stickers, emoji, or even objects (for example ‘sunset’ or ‘surfing’).”
As part of the Chat 2.0 rollout this past March, Snapchat introduced the ability for users to upload photos and videos from their phone’s photo library to a private message. Memories’ Camera Roll took things a significant step further by building a replacement to your photo library—and Snapchat’s Camera Roll may even be far better. Make sure you’ve granted Snapchat access to your phone’s Camera Roll first. (On the iPhone, simply go to “Settings”, scroll down to the Snapchat icon and make sure the toggle is switched on by “Camera”).
The album within Memories might also be useful to replace and/or supplement a traditional smartphone backup for your photos. Lost your phone but forgot to backup to the cloud? All your snaps will still be intact, safely attached to your account. (You can manually move them over, because it doesn’t happen automatically.)
For marketing on Snapchat, keep in mind that over 50% of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25, and that audience is growing 2x faster than users under 25. Surprised? I was! By watering down their previously laser-focused mission (“fun and ephemeral”), the app is clearly moving on to appeal to a wider audience, although possibly alienating their current ones. But that changing appeal to more people with disposable income may be making Snapchat a valuable mobile marketing tool going forward.
More Snapchat Changes and Hacks
Snapchat can be pretty intimidating if you’re a beginner, since many of Snapchat’s best features are hidden. So to get the most out of Snapchat, DailyDot suggests that you learn a few insider tricks, tips and hacks, including:
- Zoom feature: You can enable the zoom feature on your device and magnify the image to doodle in those smaller, hard-to-reach areas.
- Sound effects: You can find sound effects on iTunes and Spotify and use them to improve your snaps.
- Emojis: Use emojis as color overlay filters on your snaps. Simply place the emoji over the snap and blow it up. The emoji’s edge will create a colorful filter.Plus, you can use emojis as stencils to make doodling easier.
- Sharable profile links: You can tweet it out or even post it on Facebook, so your friends can easily find you and add you.
- Alarm: Your snap story expires after 24 hours, but don’t worry. You can set an alarm before it expires if you want to save it (and see your final stats, a valuable option for marketers).
- Use multiple filters at once: “Throwing on an extra filter or three on your snap is much easier after a recent Snapchat update. First, take a photo on Snapchat. Slide your finger left or right and select your first filter. Then, while holding one finger on your snap, slide left or right with another finger to select your second filter. You’ll be able to add multiple geofilters, timestamps, temperature, colored filters, and more,” says DailyDot.
- Enable night camera mode: Your night shots aren’t likely to induce interest if no one can see them. Use Snapchat’s low-light camera mode during the evening or in other settings with poor lighting. Simply tap the moon icon next to the camera flash.
- Infinite, customizable Best Friends list: To work around the automatic list on the Send To screen, simply rename your contacts. Decide who you want in your extended list, and navigate to their username on the “My Friends” page. Click on a name, and a drop-down list should appear. To the right of the name, you’ll notice a small, circular settings icon. Click this icon and a pop-up will appear on the screen. Click the first option, “Edit Display Name.” Another pop-up window will appear with a field where you can change your friend’s name.
“When it comes to Snapchat,” says socialmediaexaminer.com, “The more exciting you can make your stories, the better. Just remember though, a big part of becoming better at telling stories on Snapchat is learning how all of Snapchat’s tools work.”
How can you use Snapchat for your business? Use it to ignite your social media marketing, feature your followers, demo your product, promote events, and much more. To create memorable Snapchat content, give Solamar a shout.