Another day, another app to clap. This week people have been putting their hands together for Discover, the new newsy offering from Snapchat. Collaborating with the likes of CNN, Yahoo, National Geographic and Food Network Discover provides aesthetically engaging ‘snapshot’ news and entertainment stories to time-poor, tech-savvy Snappers.
General consensus is that the app is a welcome addition to the Snapchat experience, praised for its engaging interface and for being intuitive to navigate, however, content still leaves much to be desired, relying on copy and paste articles from sister sites and primarily American features (though I challenge anyone not to enjoy Cosmo’s puppies re-enacting Superbowl Sunday vlog).
Once the teething problems have been resolved (and some vague referencing to the UK has been included in the British version) I think Snapchat have a hit on their hands and, as those in the know know, the greatest hits provide the greatest advertising opportunities.
With a loyal base of 16-24s, the majority of which are female – typically a tricky demographic to reach through a lot of ad streams – Snapchat Discover will become a hot spot for a multitude of providers wishing to target that age group.
So what might a Discover ad look like? For one, it will need to be in keeping with the existing format of heavy audio-visual, light written content stories which are the foundation of the app – bright, punchy advertorials which are to the point (the average Snap is available to view for 6 seconds – go figure).
There also needs to be an element of transparency; Snapchat users repeatedly cite the app’s perceived openness as a key reason for using the platform so any advertisement should be wary about trying to appeal to this demographic by pretending to be ‘down with the kids’ – the hint of condescension is the kiss of death for any brand.
Most importantly, originality and creativity should underpin everything, working with the chronology of the news cycle so that each day provides something new to retain the attention of an individual operating in a multi-screen, multi-informational environment.
As far as functionality goes, an interactive element would do well here with short game play lending itself to building brand awareness. Discover is part of a social community hence opportunities to share content will be key while the ability to personalise and send ad-oriented messages (tying in, for example, with the Coca Cola Name Campaign) could be well received.
The reality of if and/or when we will see Snapchat monetizing Discover remains to be seen, however, as new technology continues to change and challenge the way we consume information it is both interesting and important to evolve our expectations of advertising and its relationship with the consumer.