Snapchat Maps: My Predictions

Social media changes almost daily; when Facebook add a new feature, Twitter copy it, when Instagram add a new feature, Snapchat copy it and so on… The past few weeks or so have mainly been made up of Snapchat chasing Instagram. By now, I'm sure you’ve heard about Snapchat’s new map feature and will no doubt have your own opinions on it. If you’ve not heard about it, essentially it is a map that shows you exactly where all of your friends are. Yep, it’s actually quite a big change. Reception has been mixed so I thought I'd make some quick predictions. 

Watch The Map Get More Cluttered

Head over to Snapchat for 2 seconds, look at the map and then come straight back to The map is pretty sweet looking isn’t it? Clear, minimalist and generally nice to use. Well, I reckon over the 6 months or so, that map will gradually fill up with your favourite shops, cafes, restaurants and bars’ details. Showing all their users how close they are to their newest Starbucks or McDonalds has major marketing potential. Watch Snapchat start sending you deals as you get closer to those McNuggets ;)

The Discovery Page Gets Closer To Home

The Discovery page, underneath where you see friend’s stories, is where Snapchat makes its money. Just now, it’s a mix of content from international and some larger national publishers that you probably click on a few times a month. With all the new location data they’re collecting, Snapchat will probably start selling this space to brands that are geographically more relevant to you. If you’re in Edinburgh, maybe you’ll start seeing content from Edinburgh Zoo or Dynamic Earth for example. 

No One Will Use It

I totally understand why social media companies issue these kinds of updates, the data they can collect from them is hugely valuable, even if a minute percentage of users actually use it. However, let's be realistic, it was clear on Friday that the map was pretty unpopular and people think it’s weird. We are already seeing the classic “I caught my boyfriend cheating on Snapchat's map” headlines. Are people ready to give away their exact whereabouts? Even to their closest friends? I don’t think they are. Of course, some of your friends will use it, but I would be surprised if this new feature properly catches on.  

I’m aware that I’ve blogged a lot about Snapchat recently, but these are interesting times and Snapchat’s pursuit of reclaiming their crown from Instagram could create some interesting opportunities for small businesses. Watch this space. 

#Snapchat #Marketing #SocialMedia

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