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Cassie Chorn
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Snapchat’s Turning Heads and Changing Paths

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It’s set to be a big year for one of the most-talked about apps – Snapchat. Right from the beginning of this year, it has been taking us all by surprise with innovative marketing techniques and unexpected announcements.

Snapchat heads to Vegas

Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been running for 50-odd years, and it’s ruled by tradition. Think product announcements, company booths and keynote addresses.

Yet, this year’s show saw some rather unconventional moves from the video messaging app. First off, Snapchat piqued the attention of CES attendees by planting their bright yellow logo surrounded by a poker chip on one of the city’s most recognisable hotel/casinos – the Egyptian-themed, pyramid-shaped Luxor, whose Sky Beam light, by the by, can be seen from outer space.

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(Image credit: Geekwire)

Snapchat isn’t just for naughty pics anymore

It’s official, Snapchat is now widely used by “old people”. What with the White House and a slew of presidential candidates using the app, it’s officially becoming mainstream.  What’s more, The Wall Street Journal has become the first American newspaper to join Snapchat’s curated news page called Discover. It’s all part of the app’s announced commitment to advertising, as they strive to transform themselves into a digital media company. With the app’s ad stream in Discover and Live Stories features, it appears to be proving to brands and agencies alike that not only can it sell ad space, but create it too.

Aside from just adults and publishers jumping onto the Snapchat bandwagon, it seems that Vegas hotels are attracted to the app’s potential for drawing in customers and showing them the Vegas high life. MGM International, a massive hospitality company that oversees many of the city’s best-known hotels, has announced that they’ll be using Snapchat as part of their social media strategy. MGM executives have said they’re attracted to the app for the air of exclusivity it could offer their customers. “There’s no hashtag. There’s no posts to follow. It’s happening when you join in on our story. It’s about the experience.” said one. So, who’s next to jump on board?

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Would you let Snapchat manage your money?

On a more serious note, there’s also been talk that Snapchat is in the midst of developing Robo-Advisory technology, which will use algorithms to provide Snapchat users with online portfolio management services, minus the human interaction. This technology is specifically targeted towards tech-savvy young millennials who might not necessarily be concerned about the lack of human involvement in their financial future. Snapchat is already at a huge advantage to deliver such services, seeing as they have over 100 million daily active users. This development – which hasn’t been officially confirmed by Snapchat – follows on from their money-transfer service that they developed in partnership with Square, called Snapcash.  I’m not sure how I feel about this one, given the security concerns that Snapchat has faced in the past, but it could be a potentially disruptive technology that’s well worth watching.

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By Cassie Chorn


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