American Marketer


3 reasons why brands should not write off Snapchat

July 25, 2018

Krishna Subramanian is cofounder of Captiv8 Krishna Subramanian is cofounder of Captiv8


By Krishna Subramanian

“Snapchat redesign.” The term has become cringe-worthy, to say the least.

In November, the redesign was announced and, to put it plainly, users did not appreciate the new layout.

As if the redesign was not enough, celebs such as Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen publicly denounced the application, and there was also the distasteful Rihanna poll incident.

In fact, 1.2 million people who signed a petition to revert Snapchat to its pre-redesign layout. Snapchat's first-quarter earnings further proved things were not well in Snapchatlandia and ultimately after experiencing its slowest user growth ever over a quarter and overall low user count in March, company founder Evan Speigel announced the redesign of the redesign.

The re-redesign would fix one of the most annoying changes by moving celebrity and friend Stories back onto the same page, amongst other things – not a perfect solution but it was a start.

Snap's design journey Snap's design journey

Despite all this, according to Pew Research, 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and the company has a few aces up its Internet sleeve.

Brand marketers, put that judgment away, because here are three reasons that you may not want to write off Snapchat just yet:

Snap Memories
Taking a leaf out of Facebook’s “Memories of the Day,” Snapchat now pulls from user-generated nostalgia in the form of saved content memories and provides the user a notification – translated: quick hit of dopamine – showing what was snapped in previous years, allowing them to re-share the snap. It is a trip down memory lane, and one that creates engagement and positive sentiment.

Snap's Memories feature Snap's Memories feature

Snap Pro for businesses + creators
Calling all advertising dollars. As chief strategy officer Imran Khan mentioned in the first-quarter earnings remarks, "we [Snapchat] remain strongly committed to proving the effectiveness of our advertising. ROI is the best incentive that we can offer our advertisers and we have been working tirelessly to show it across multiple products and verticals."

Translation: Snapchat wants to become ROI-friendly and has began to roll out audience analytics and insights, in hopes of attracting influencers and brand marketers to the platform with a long overdue ask.

By showing creators and businesses how to optimize with Snap Pixel, it is hoping to prove Snapchat as advertising gold.

Snap for Business Snap for Business

Project Eagle
Eagle is Snap for “product search,” which involves a visual handshake and partnership with Amazon.

Currently under code construction, this feature would allow users to scan a bar code, and then redirect them to shop the Amazon product page.

Camera Search will also be able to identify anything from an object to what song is playing in the background.

Why is this a big deal? Revenue.

Included in this rumored project would be the ability to copy URLs and potentially direct traffic similar to Instagram Stories.

By increasing the likelihood of in-app shopping, this could become extremely attractive to brand marketers.

Snapchat Shazam Snapchat Shazam

WHETHER OR NOT these features will be able to revive the tumultuous Snapchat reputation, it is something worth looking out.

The landscape for engagement on Snapchat is still somewhat organic, coupled with in-app text and video messaging. However, as the stats say, this app still has huge popularity amongst millennials.

Krishna Subramanian is cofounder of Captiv8, San Francisco. Reach him at