We’ve all probably heard of Snapchat by now, the social media platform that is particularly popular with both younger millennials and members of Generation Z.
Conversations about Snapstreak addiction stirred around the Mediablaze office after finding a Mashable article where devastated Snapchat users lamented over their lost “Snapstreaks”. As a young millennial, I (pathetically) understood this sentiment completely and was surprised to learn that my
slightly older … ahem, more established colleagues didn’t recognize the importance of Snapstreaks.
Or had even heard of them.
The concept is simple: Snapchat records the number of days that users consecutively snap each other and displays the number next to a fire emoji by that friend’s name. If you fail to snap each other within 24 hours, the streak disappears.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it has taken many millennials by storm. For some, the streak has become a measurement of the strength of a relationship between two people. It has even taken on a competitive edge, with users feeling a sense of achievement by having a long streak with someone, even though there is no ‘real’ reward for it.
I reached out to key millennial Snapchat users (via Snapchat, of course) to learn who had had long streaks, how long they were, and how they felt about it. The results were rather interesting.
Some openly admit to feeling proud of maintaining a long streak, whereas others are ashamed of feeling satisfied with a streak. At times, the streak reaches a point where users no longer know why they are working to maintain it – they just know it’s something that must be done. On the other hand, some have no connection to the Snapchat streak and don’t feel like they are missing anything.
With that, dedicated Snapchat users feel devastated when the streak disappears. As one user put it: “Losing a long Snapstreak is like cutting off your pinky toe; technically you don’t need it but it still hurts.”
Just as the streak symbolises a flourishing relationship, it also legitimises an ending one. “It’s actually kind of pathetic … I broke things off with a guy I had been with for months but losing the Snapstreak was probably the moment I realised it was over for good,” says another user.
Why is this so brilliant/crazy?
Snapchat has given users a reason to use the app other than for just entertainment. It created the need to maintain a habit, a tradition, a lifestyle. Those with important Snapstreaks to maintain will find a reason to return to the app every single day. The longer the streak, the more it matters to them.
This is fantastic for Snapchat because it maintains its user base and attracts new fans to the platform, which also opens up further benefits with advertising sales and overall lifetime projectivity of the app. Combine that with its playful filters and it’s no surprise that this platform is doing so well.
What does this mean for brands?
Unfortunately for brands, this dedicated interaction is a private one that only two Snapchatters can experience. However, it is still bringing users to the app, which means Snapchat is a thriving platform with high life expectancy. If users are opening the app to maintain their streaks, they are likely interacting with its other features – using filters, watching and posting stories and reading the available articles.
This is the realm where brands have the opportunity to thrive by creating – aesthetically pleasing, I beg of you – branded filters, partnering with the article platforms to create branded content, creating a Snapchat story theme, or even buying advertising space between stories.
There are many creative digital content marketing opportunities with Snapchat. Luckily, we are experts in creating informative and interesting materials for brands so don’t hesitate to get in touch via [email protected].