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Snapchat Launches New Ad Campaign Pitching Itself as the ‘Antidote to Social Media’

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Snapchat Launches New Ad Campaign Pitching Itself as the ‘Antidote to Social Media’

Snapchat has launched a new promotional campaign, in which it seeks to present its platform as the anti-social media, in order to distance itself from the many issues being experienced within other apps, while also leaning into evolving online engagement trends.

As you can see in this clip, Snapchat’s seeking to present its platform as an antidote to the divisive popularity contest that social media has become, in order to enhance its appeal to more users.

As explained by Snap:

The promise of social media started out great. It was a place where we could connect with people and share bits of our lives. A place where we could be a part of something bigger than ourselves – where we could feel supported and loved. But somewhere in the adolescence of social media, things began to feel off. Friends became people who felt more like strangers. Moments became more curated. Sharing became more contrived.”

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Snapchat, it says, is different, because it doesn’t have a feed, and it isn’t seeking to showcase your posts to as many people as possible. Snapchat opens to the camera, and deletes your content by default. That, it suggests, enables users to feel more free to post about more aspects of their lives.

People feel exhausted by the social media popularity contest. Fed up with having to look pretty or perfect in every post. Tired of competing for likes and comments. Misled by misinformation. But Snapchat is not social media. It never was. In fact, it was built as an antidote to social media

It’s actually a pretty appealing pitch, though how Snapchat matches this with its origins as a space for more risqué, controversial content is another consideration.

It is also worth noting that Snap has been pushing this alternative angle for years, working to distance itself from the “social media” tag as it seeks to differentiate its offering.

Back in 2017, when Snap first launched its Spectacles camera glasses, it also tried to re-brand itself as “a camera company”, with a focus on developing new ways to innovate the capture of experiences, as opposed to being a social engagement platform.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has, at different times, reiterated that camera focus, while also labeling Snapchat as a messaging service, in variance to other social apps. Indeed, earlier this month, in a leaked memo sent to employees, Spiegel said that “social media is dead”, with Snapchat set to take up the cause and provide improved personal connection, in variance to angst-inducing social apps.

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And in some ways, he is correct.

Social media platforms have been increasingly leaning into video, and AI-based content recommendations of video content, following the lead of TikTok, which has seen great success by highlighting the most relevant video clips to each user, as opposed to enclosing their experience to only the people and profiles that they’ve chosen to follow.

In this sense, social media usage is now less about seeing what your friends and family are up to, and more about what’s trending. Which would make them more entertainment-based apps, as opposed to connective tools.

The social elements have increasingly shifted towards more enclosed, private group discussions, primarily within messaging apps. And as that trend evolves, it does feel like the social aspect is shrinking. And when you also consider that the vast majority of social media users never post in any app, and just consume content, there is growing evidence to support Spiegel’s contention.

So is Snapchat the antidote, the alternative that more users are seeking, as a means to stay connected and engage with more enclosed groups of friends?

For many young users, it definitely is, which is reinforced in every study that analyzes demographic usage trends. The below, for example, is from the Pew Research social media usage trend report, which was published earlier this week.

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The problem for Snap is that, as you can see in these stats, that usage is not holding up as its audience gets older, though Snap is also only 12 years old, and it could still have more staying power within expanded demographic subsets in the coming years.

But right now, Snap isn’t maintaining its relevance as its audience ages up. It’s been trying to address this for years, in various ways. But the evidence suggests that Snap might just be a cool teen app, which becomes less relevant to adults who connect in alternative forms.

So while it may be a good alternative to social media as it suggests, that’s not a message that’s resonating with an expanded cohort of users.

Can Snap change that? Will this reiteration of its focus appeal to more users, many of whom are already switching to messaging apps?

It’s a good pitch, and I do think it will resonate with Snap’s core audience. I’m just not sure it’s hit for anybody else.

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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