Snapchat, a photo-messaging app known primarily for conveying brief communications among teens, is looking to up its game. The company has announced the launch of a new messaging function that will allow real-time video chats and give users the ability to interact directly via instant messaging. And, of course, those messages disappear once the users leave the conversation.
Evan Spiegel, one of Snapchat’s founders, told the New York Times, “The goal has always been to move beyond messaging. We’re trying to take the traditional text conversation and make it better.”
Snapchat’s step into the larger sphere of direct messaging is, according to Spiegel, an attempt to mimic the way conversations take place offline. PR practitioners seeking new ways to reach people in a natural, free-flowing way, may want to take notice.
The migration to direct messaging in social media is no secret. Brands are already experimenting with Snapchat and similar apps to reach their audience. The intimacy and immediacy of these platforms requires a new approach for engaging people and sharing content.
Jeff Petriello, producer/creative at Mashable, and speaker at PR News’ Social Media Summit on June 3 in New York City, poses a few questions that communicators need to ask themselves before leaping onto Snapchat or other direct messaging platforms.
- Do you have enough resources to really maximize the potential of direct messaging apps like Snapchat? Is there someone to respond and post consistently?
- Does your brand have access to interesting, beautiful or engaging visual content to share?
- What would your goals be with a direct messaging campaign? Do you want followers? Is it a channel for customer service? Do you want to increase brand awareness and engagement? How can that guide your strategy?
Learn from social media experts like Jeff Petriello at PR News’ Social Media Summit on June 3 in New York City.
Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell