Snap Inc. Valuation and the Future of Your Snapchat Strategy

Snap Inc.'s upcoming IPO is the talk of the tech world, and now the Wall Street Journal has reported that the company set its valuation between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion, according to inside sources. Speculation about the success of the IPO hinges on a few questions, such as:

  • Can Snapchat maintain user growth? (Growth slowed in late 2016.)
  • Will Snapchat stay relevant versus copycat Instagram Stories and Facebook's Stories feature, currently in testing?
  • Is Snapchat a worthwhile investment for brands?

New research out of Copenhagen might quell fears, on the latter question at least: More than half of Snapchat users will open a brand's story, according to a report from Snaplytics (not affiliated with Snap Inc.). Of those, more than 85% will watch the entire story. With the average brand story length at 11 snaps, that's significant. Yet the first two questions are still cause for concern among investors and PR pros alike.

For communicators suspicious of the long-term sustainability of Snapchat, there's a good amount of uncertainty around planning how much time to devote to the platform. However, the good news is that no matter what the ultimate fate of Snapchat is, the basic format of its stories is clearly here to stay for the foreseeable future. This means even if you're skittish about the platform, it's still worthwhile to settle on a top-level strategy and even to outline a content calendar. If you decide later that Instagram Stories or Facebook Stories is more worth your while, the same content should be usable there. Your plans for Custom Geofilters or other features unique to Snapchat, however, you may want to place in the "tentative" category.

To get an inside look at some top methods of attacking the format, be sure to register for PR News' webinar "Map Out Your Snapchat Content Strategy," March 28 at 1:30 EST. Trainers from the Baltimore Ravens, NextGenVest and Ruder Finn will be sharing how they take advantage of the format that is carving out a permanent niche in the digital landscape.

Follow Ian on Twitter: @ianwright0101