Snapchat Chat 2.0 – The New Era

March 30, 2016

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Snapchat, the popular video and picture messaging app released a major update yesterday titled ‘Chat 2.0’. The chat function wasn’t originally a key benefit of the app, so as marketers, this improvement got our attention.

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The update features free audio and video calling (using Wi-Fi or cellular data), along with the ability to send GIF-style reaction videos and voice memos. One of our content marketing predictions for 2016 was live video, which Snapchat is capitalizing on with the updated chat feature.

Team Snapchat issued a press release stating the update was implemented to allow “chat to be the best way to communicate – second only to hanging out face-to-face.”

The history of instant messaging has notoriously been complex:

  • Remember AIM? It took a good 20 minutes to dial and log into AOL so you could chat with your online friends (but boy were those away messages fun!)
  • Yahoo, MSN, Skype, and Meebo were next, followed by Myspace and Facebook Chat. These all made chat more easily accessible, but users still needed to log into an online platform to access them.
  • More recently, users have relied on apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to chat with others. These platforms work just fine, but leave much to be desired when it comes to truly feeling connected to the person on the other end.

From its inception, Snapchat changed the messaging landscape by providing users the ability to view tidbits of their friends’ lives and incorporate video in a way that no other company has been able to do. This initiative paves the way for brands to start to get involved in a more personal and meaningful way – and that’s exactly what customers want nowadays. It opens up more channels of communication. Imagine being able to instantly video chat with your favorite clothing brand if you have a fit question? Or having your cable company walk you through troubleshooting your router instead of having to schedule a home visit?

The future of messaging is constantly shifting, but one thing is for sure – marketers should jump on the engagement opportunities available with Chat 2.0.

How would you like to interact with your favorite brands? Tweet us at @Norbella to share!