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Share life with friends, fast and fun

Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend (or maybe a few). They'll view it, laugh, and then the snap disappears from the screen - unless your friend takes a screenshot!

Snap is a photo and video messaging app that lets users add text and drawings to their own photos and videos and send them to friends.

Launched in 2011, Snapchat, as it was originally known, is known for its fast-disappearing messages called “Snaps” that go away after the recipient views them. The platform has over 100 million daily active users (mostly between the ages of 13 and 34), who view over 7 billion videos every day.

In 2014, the company started aligning itself with music events: a natural fit for some of Snapchat’s most popular features.

Live Stories, which allow users at the same event or location share Snaps to the same Story, are the perfect conduit for live music events sharing. In fact, they’ve been tapped for festivals already: Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival, just to name a few. Each story captures the concerts as they are heard by users, compiling photos and videos into stories that reflect the magic of live music.

More people watched the Snapchat stories on the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards than watched the event itself on cable. Snapchat Discover, launched in early 2015, also doubles as a platform for music sharing, with content based around music and entertainment, like the iHeartRadio channel that showcases artist interviews and song previews.

And Snapchat is turning itself into a powerful ally for media brands looking for access to millennials. A handful of highly curated brands like BuzzFeed, National Geographic, and Comedy Central use the Discover feature to offer up short-form content like quizzes, animations, and articles created specifically for the platform. In exchange, Snapchat gets some of the ad revenue. But the bar is high and the competition fierce to participate–Yahoo and Warner Music Group were quickly cut from the roster when their content didn’t resonate with the audience.

By the end of 2015, Discover was attracting 60 million monthly visitors. In 2016 new services such as news coverage, seek to drive $200 million in revenue, with an eye on a potential sale. CEO Evan Spiegel claims he has already turned down a $3billion approach from Facebook, and clearly he has something much more valuable, more in line with WhatsApp’s $19 billion.

In September 2016, Snapchat changed its name to Snap. This also signalled a strategic move beyond messaging, with the pre-launch of its new Snap Spectacles. With mini camera built into the funky sunglass frame, users will be able to capture short videos and share them instantly. It might be a gimmick, but it also might be an important step forward in augmented reality. Snapchat, or now Snap, is definitely an innovative brand and business model to watch!

Here are 12 insights from Snap’s success:

  • Start with a niche audience – be relevant to them, learn from them, work with them as advocates.
  • Make cool associations – be in with the right crowd, the right people, the right brands to connect with.
  • Spot a trend – Snapshot jumped on the social media wave a did it better, images more than words, fast and instant.
  • Engage psychologically – 33 minutes is the average time spent every day, driven met by FOMO – the fear of missing out!
  • Power of mobility – realtime content is only possible if you’re mobile, driving instant, location-based communication.
  • Self publishing – people love to create their own content, to be their own publishers, made easy.
  • Think locally – local content, micro stories, small communities, make’s it more relevant and engaging.
  • Keep disrupting – as you learn from customers, and competitors respond, keep being the challenger brand.
  • Find new directions – keep upgrading, more colourful content, new acquisitions to add new services e.g. bitmojis.
  • Create effective advertising – setting the trend in vertical videos, new services like Canvas, and ad metrics.
  • Work with brands – the Discover section has become a showcase for the most relevant brands in media, entertainment and fashion.
  • Stay fun – stay real, cool and relevant, keep disrupting yourself, moving with the trends, and not taking yourself too seriously.

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