Snapchat wants to bring the feel of in-person conversations to mobile devices. That’s why their images and messages disappear after just a few seconds and why millions of people use the app.
The company has a three-year roadmap with a bunch of big product ideas up its sleeve.
For example, it has considered turning the platform into a mobile record label that promotes up-and-coming celebrities and their work. Snapchat also recently launched SnapCash, a Venmo-like feature that lets users easily send each other money, using Square’s technology.
But there are two features Snapchat is missing that could help users get more out of the product while driving brand awareness for non-users.
Embeddable stories: In June, Stories overtook Snaps as Snapchat’s most popular product. Then, one billion stories were being shared per day, up from 500 million two months prior. The product is only one year old.
Stories are a bunch of Snapchat photos and videos strung together, which can be viewed by friends multiple times over a 24 hour period. People outside of a friend group can also see Snapchat Stories if they’re made public.
Snapchat also has a feature, “Our Stories,” which screams “embed me!”
The feature launched in June and it takes multiple people’s photos from the same event or place (a music concert, a football game, etc) and shares the reel publicly.
Our Stories has become so popular, CEO Evan Spiegel claims more people watched college football on Snapchat than on College Game Day’s Saturday television coverage.
To create awareness for non-Snapchat users, Snapchat should make events like football games and concerts embeddable, the same way Facebook posts, Instagrams and tweets are. It’d be easy content for a lot of news organisations. Sports sites could show game highlights and fans tailgating via Snapchat. News sites could find out what’s happening at places where a story is breaking — like UVA’s campus during the Rolling Stone debacle. And Snapchat would accumulate millions of impressions outside of its mobile application.
Location-based videos: Snapchat already lets users have face to face conversations, like Facetime, with friends on the app. But what if people could use Snapchat to see where in the world other users are (think a real-time map), and request instant video snaps from those places? It’d be a glimpse into some place you’d like to know more about or experience — like what’s going on at the Super Bowl, or what the crowd is like at your local bar before you head out the door.
There’s a startup in New York, Sup, that’s working on this. It basically lets users hijack each other’s mobile cameras and get a glimpse of their surroundings. But it doesn’t have the massive platform Snapchat has built to connect tons people in a meaningful way.