Alexandra Donlin

Innovating Snapchat for bloggers, publications and stores

When Snapchat was released in 2012, it took the social media world by storm.

At first, it was just a way to communicate with friends via photos that disappeared after ten seconds. Today, you can post photos or videos on to a public story that last 24 hours, you can add special effects to photos and videos, you can follow celebrities or influencers to see their stories, you can see stories from events or cities all over the world, and you can even read news stories via their discover section.

This app has come a long way since it initially was just simple chatting with photos.

This means that pretty much everyone is trying to utilize Snapchat in the best way possible for their company or brand.

In a recent article from Digiday, author Hilary Milnes goes in-depth on how the department store Bloomingdale’s is innovating with the app. Specifically, how the VP of social media, Jonathan Paul, is utilizing it.

“Paul said that the goal is to use an artistic approach to differentiate, and create an experience to show young consumers what Bloomingdale’s stores are about: even if they can’t get to a physical location (there are only 38 U.S. Bloomingdale’s), they’ll build a brand awareness associated with the account,” Milnes said.

Paul also explains that Snapchat allows the department store to be more personal and lets followers see what’s going on in an actual store, something that they can’t get with any other social media platform.

Express and Victoria’s Secret, other chains of stores, are also innovating on Snapchat by giving looks at new collections and letting followers see behind-the-scenes of photo shoots. They also make it interactive by giving contests on the platform — whoever designs the best bathing suit using the drawing tool, randomly selecting someone who screenshotted something, etc.

To innovate the app even more, I would like to see all types of brands, bloggers and companies displaying new products, articles, announcements, etc. being displayed via their stories.

I think something great that would be beneficial on the app is to allow people to share links onto their stories, with a photo and quick a blurb about it. This would be similar to Pinterest — most blogs and websites have Pinterest buttons on their photos so you can instantly save them to one of your boards. That’s how this would work on Snapchat; you could save something directly to your story from Safari, Chrome or whatever Internet app you may use. Once you click on the link from someone’s story, you are immediately brought to the page.

This would bring even more exposure to things other than from the typical social media platforms — Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Something else that could be cool for innovating the app would be to have some sort of archive for those that are businesses, brands or publications.

They could publish their archives, and if anyone was ever wondering about a product or piece of clothing that was featured in a story but never had the chance to get it, they could take a look back at it. This where those links also come into play. Any story that features something you can buy from them can be shoppable so consumers can be immediately redirected to their site.

As for publications, having an archive can allow followers to look directly back at live footage from an event or the covering of a breaking story.

This archive would kind of break the whole disappearing after 24 hours thing that they are known for, but it’s just an idea that I think could bring tons of exposure and engagement to sites.

In my opinion, Snapchat is the social media platform that most people are excited about using and will see further change and innovation in the future. It’s fun, engaging, and users are exposed to things that they might not have normally been exposed to before.

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