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5 Intriguing Insights Into The Future Of Snapchat

Tech

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If there’s ever a time for Snapchat to turn its fortunes around, it’s now.

If there’s ever a time for Snapchat to turn its fortunes around, it’s now.

Competitors are reeling from a variety of scandals—Facebook’s appearances on Capitol Hill, Twitter dealing with an onslaught of bots and trolls. Snapchat’s users are young, the company stores much less data than its social media brethren, and its ethos of sharing privately should resonate in an era of privacy worries.

It’s no surprise then that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel recently allowed Bloomberg into some of the company’s most guarded sanctums, including a special ceremony where employees share dark secrets. Clearly, the company feels it’s time for good press.

Will this new mindset be enough to help Snapchat turn a profit for investors? If you’re a business or marketing agency that has turned away from the company in recent years in favor of skyrocketing social media star Instagram, is there any reason to look back? Here are some insights from the Bloomberg profile that everyone should be aware of:

1. They encourage vulnerability—for now

For this article, Spiegel allowed a reporter to enter the company’s “Council,” where employees gather and both speak and listen “from the heart” about their past, and hopes for the future. It’s an oddly intimate concept.

Will it continue as the company evolves? It remains to be seen whether a company this big can maintain the little guy ethos that brought Snap to prominence, and as the rest of the article details, Snap is maturing rapidly.

2. They see Facebook as the villain

At one point during a board meeting, Spiegel was quoted as saying “What I think that people are starting to see is that other companies really are trying to make as much money as possible and really don’t care how that happens”—a subliminal shot at Facebook.

Snap employees “see Mark Zuckerberg’s social network as the villain in their virtuous fight against vanity and virality.” The irony is that Snap must now prove to advertisers that Snap’s take on how to grab users eyeballs—intimacy, a lack of polish—is a similar but better fit than Facebook’s.

3. Their CFO might be their savior

For an article about how important it is for the Snap CEO to turn it around, the most intriguing nugget may be the reference to another executive. Former Amazon executive Tim Stone, the new CFO, was called “a lone bright spot,” and is receiving the kind of praise from analysts that has eluded Spiegel. It may end up being Stone who steadies the ship, not unlike how Sheryl Sandberg came aboard Facebook as COO and provided the experience and vision that the CEO then lacked.

4. Snap thinks they can what Facebook does for advertisers—but cheaper

The thrust of Snap’s resurgence will be built around this idea: That Facebook and Instagram may be bigger stars, but no other platform can touch the intimacy has with its users, at so low a price point.

Indeed, a recent Adidas shoe campaign was unveiled on Snapchat and saw a 100-percent sell-through within six hours, with a ton of reach in the target market of young females—drawing particular praise for how the company seamlessly connects the digital with the physical.

5. The company prioritizes itself and its workers

When the company discussed priorities during a board meeting, “building a sustainable business,” actually came in at number five. The company is looking first at improving employee performance, followed by boosting daily users, revenue, and time spent on the app. While gains in the first four areas should lead to greater sustainability, it’s telling that the company is focused on improving from within most of all.

Even as the company experiences its growing pains, the Adidas campaign shows that they’ll continue to serve as a useful platform for brands in certain markets and demos. The question is, will they ever expand beyond those core competencies, or continue to lose ground? Time will tell.

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