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Using Snapchat

Discussion in 'Online Journalism' started by MeanGreenATO, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Well-Known Member

    Originally, Snapchat was something everybody thought teenagers used to send things they probably shouldn't be sending to each other. That's no longer the case.

    For those of you that don't know, it's an app that lets you send photos or videos with a caption for up to 10 seconds until it disappears. The person who sends the Snapchat decides how many seconds it lasts.

    I came across this story by the Knight Lablast night and didn't know the Washington Post was among those giving it a shot. Do you think Snapchat is something that can connect papers to readers and increase web traffic?
  2. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    Can they embed links in the photos? You'd have to click on the link pretty fast before the picture disappears. And if you can't, I'd doubt any large percentage of people would go to the sender's site and seek out the teased content. All of the examples seem like good ideas, though. But my gut reaction would be most users of this app wouldn't care for what are essentially advertisements for these news companies. The stat from the Post example (that says they got three responses) doesn't make this sound promising for connecting with readers. From my limited knowledge of Snapchat, I don't think it has anywhere near the potential capabilities that Facebook or Twitter has for connecting a paper with its audience.
  3. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Well-Known Member

    I thought the exact same thing. I was recently hired at a decently big metro and that was one of the questions raised during one of my interviews. Snapchat does not seem to do much for papers, but once I saw another paper was using it, I felt like it was worth discussing on here. Also, I figure more than a couple threads on this board each year might be a good thing.
  4. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago, I was the web editor at a college town daily, which also put me in charge of social media. The publisher would come to me fairly frequently wanting to know how we could use whatever the latest social app or website was. I eventually went to him with the analytics for all our sites and showed him the only social media sources driving traffic were Twitter and Facebook and convinced him it wasn't worth the time and effort for us trying to stay ahead of the game and figure out which new thing would take off.

    I'd pay attention to what other shops were doing and if somebody else figured out a way to make Pinterest or whatever worth the time I'd jump on board, but none of the new apps ever proved worth it while I was there.
  5. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Snapchat is good for interaction as long as you realize you're only going to be getting the attention of 25-and-unders.
    From what my cousin - who's 23 - showed me, the only benefit would be interacting with readers. Gives them an idea of who you are and could drive traffic. I signed up for it for a site I run, but I have no clue how to use it and haven't really given it a shot yet. I'm strictly Twitter and Vine because that's my audience and it's working just fine.
  6. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I don't want pictures of my publisher's junk for 10 seconds...no way, no how.
  7. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Well-Known Member

    Disclaimer: I'm in my early 20's and there's a good chance all my friends are using it as much, if not more, than anything other social medium.

    So there's the benefit of engaging a young audience, something that's definitely important in the current business climate. But the big question is whether there is someway to turn that into sort of revenue stream. Like Rhody, I'm also using a lot of Twitter and Vine to keep readers engaged (and hopefully drive them to the site at some point).
  8. ADodgen

    ADodgen Member

    I acknowledge the need to move traffic to your site (in fact, I work for a digital marketing agency whose deliverable is just that), but don't dismiss the importance of brand building, especially with new audiences.

    A good read from Fast Co.
  9. JustinLee

    JustinLee New Member

    I've thought about Snapchat a lot, and really the only use I think it might have is if you wanted to receive photos/information from your readers.

    Maybe on a high school football Friday, young folks would be more inclined to interact and send in score updates with photos from the stands through Snapchat. Maybe on a college football gameday you could encourage folks to Snapchat in their tailgate food or something. Then you could compile it all for a fluff piece or something.

    But it's hard to see many other advantages. Folks would have to type in your account to add you specifically, so you'd have to tell them to do that through some other medium. There's no sharing or anything like that on Snapchat, so you wouldn't be gaining any new eyeballs. It'd mostly just be more interacting with readers you already have.

    Maybe there's something that I'm missing, but it's hard to find a good use for it until there's a major change or update. That said, it's definitely the big thing going right now.
  10. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    In an attempt to monetize its vast audience, Snapchat has added Discover, with mainstream publications offering actual content (that doesn't disappear).
  11. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I noticed that...and I rarely look at snapchat anymore. Seems pretty useless.
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