How not to corrupt Snapchat (from a 22 year old)


Snap, Snap, Snap – everyone is taking about leveraging Snapchat as a new platform: What can brands do? How do we change the game? While all these rather enlightening discussions are going around the internet, I thought I will make a gentle plea to the advertising world about how to not corrupt Snapchat.

Also, 60% of Snapchat’s audience is Millennials, so it wouldn’t hurt to get a 22 year old’s perspective on it.

3 ways to prevent corrupting Snapchat:

1. Don’t be perfect:

We all know that Snapchat stories can’t be pre-created and uploaded. You need to hit ‘record’ and that’s it. There are not fancy editing possibilities and neither is your logo going to appear on the top right. The truth is, you are going to end up with  fuzzy-unstable-video and that is okay. Infact, that is perfect. We look for imperfect (aka authentic content) so please, don’t give us beautified (=fake) content.

2. Don’t be a brand: 

This might sounds fundamentally different from what you do on your day to day job. But hold on, this sounds about right. Snapchat (unlike most other platforms) is still unadulterated. We want friends, not brands. You might be like, sure – brands are friends on facebook, twitter etc. so how is Snapchat  different? Well, cause the choice to engage with you completely lies in our hands. We don’t get brand updates on our news feed that we ‘see, but can scroll past’. On Snapchat, we will even choose ‘if we want to see  your content.’ So if I  don’t see you as a friend, I won’t care about you. Do stuff that friends do – post stupid videos, update us on pranks you play in the office and give us  some behind the scenes sneak peaks about how your everyday lives look like.

3. Don’t offer offers:

No, we are not money-less. So no, don’t push your buy one get one free offers on us via Snapchat. I have seen brands be like – here, poor kids, look at this wannabe groupon deal, take a screenshot (whohoo) and come to the store to redeem it (followed by a forced cool smile). We care about experiences, and humor. So yes, I will watch random Starbucks employees wear a banana costume and ‘go bananas’ while making coffee -> go to Starbucks on my way home 5 days later rather than see a Snapchat deal and run to the store for the ‘limited validity offer’.

Snapchat is not a ‘new channel’ for the ‘same old content’. It is a ‘new channel’ for a new  ‘form of (authentic) content’. So unless you have your content-channel fit sorted, please don’t embark on a corrupting your Snapchat journey. As I said, no one will care cause that’s just lame af. 

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