We have talked before about whether or not your small business should care about Snapchat – what it is, how it could deepen your relationships with your customers, and how you can evaluate its effectiveness for your business.
There have been a few updates to the Snapchat app since its inception, including adding filters, font changes, and, most recently, Storytelling. But yesterday, Snapchat threw a curve-ball and finally brought the “chat” to Snapchat.
In an announcement on their blog, Snapchat expressed their sense that there was an important part missing from their app for conversation: “presence.” So how did they manage to bring in the missing puzzle piece?
1. New Design: Just opening the app, you will notice many of the icons have been redesigned for a cleaner look. It makes the experience feel less cluttered, and emphasizes the new features described below.
2. Swipe to Chat: When you swipe right across your friend’s name in the inbox, you will be able to start messaging each other back and forth. Much like a simple text message. What makes it different? When you leave the chat screen, the messages that have been viewed by both parties will be cleared. However, you are still able to tap or take a screenshot to save anything you want to keep from your conversation.
3. Sharing Pictures Outside the App: When you are within the chat function, there is a camera roll button that allows you to choose from your phone’s library to send a photo to the friend that you’re chatting. What makes it different? Before the update, you could only take a picture within the app to filter, add text, and send. Now you can get it from your library.
4. Video Chat: When you are both present in chat, you can share live video streams. You will be able to decide if you want to share your video or just watch your friend’s video. To me, this sounds a lot like FaceTime, in that you get to share experiences with others in real-time. What makes it different? Your phone won’t ring or notify you that you missed a call, you have to be within the app and be holding your finger down to keep the video stream going – once you take your finger off the screen, the conversation is over.
Confused? Consult the video below from Snapchat:
All in all, these new features were brought to fruition because Snapchat believed they would play an important part in meeting their brand expectations: Fueling conversations between people, and making those conversations special.
Use this news from Snapchat as an opportunity to reflect on your own brand, and what it can mean to reevaluate what your users demand from your services.