With Snapchat rolling out On-Demand Geofilters (which is a phenomenal move by the way), they shown just how far the little ghost has come… and how far they can still go.
If I worked for Snapchat…
(and trust me, I would LOVE to work for Snapchat. I fit the demo. I’m smart. I’m under 30. I wear glasses. I wear swanky shirts and ties and blazers. I write about the app all the time. I know and adore the product. I have a communications degree with a minor in computer science. My greatest strength is…
Wait, this isn’t a resume? Oh, my bad.)
Anyway, if I worked for Snapchat, and Evan Spiegel wanted to see my 5 best ideas on what to do next, this is exactly what I’d put on his desk.
1. Run a Television Network
Since Snapchat seems to be focused on ways to generate revenue right now, I’ll start with this one.
When T.V. was at its height, people could only tune in at one point in time. There were no replays, no on-demand, no downloads.
People couldn’t look away.
The screen didn’t matter so much as the demand for attention at an exact moment.
Snapchat is the perfect platform to replicate this
Think Netflix releasing a whole season is a big deal? What if they released an episode at a time but you only had 24 hours to watch it?
Missed last night’s Scandal? Too bad. Somebody will have to describe it to you.
The implications of this move would be enormous.
If Snapchat goes this direction, they could nail down their stake in the next generation of video entertainment — across every demographic.
2. Allow “Branching stories”
What if I don’t want to see your vacation shots from Florida, but I still want to know your joke of the day?
What if I’m interested in your workout tips, but your random car karaoke is annoying?
Enter branching stories.
Similar to a Facebook album, Snappers could create different channels for their different topics. Let people watch what they want, and then use move on.
Even better, if Snapchat rolled this out to use with a “who’s snapping now?” discovery feature, they could use keywords in story titles to curate a better feed for you.
3. Add Easy Chat Response For All
I’ve got to admit, whenever Snapchat released their easy chat feature, where you could swipe up in the middle of someone’s story and let them know what you’re thinking, I geeked out a little bit.
It was perfect for the platform — seamless, non-intrusive- while giving conversations much needed context. (As our Snapchat networks get bigger, it’s hard to keep up with whose exploding message belongs to who)
There’s only one problem. I can’t turn it on for everyone! I would love the ability to get these messages from followers I don’t know.
4. Add a “You See First” Option
I’m recycling this idea from Facebook. While unoriginal, it’s still much needed.
If Snapchat wants to avoid the fire hose problem Twitter is sitting in the middle of, this could be the way to do it. Add a user-focused button to put their most valued people at the top.
One trend we’ve seen in social media in general is people are generally unwilling to unfollow. It just feels mean to some of us. The see-first option is a gentler way to rank our friends and family :)
5. Implement Inside Discovery
Last on this list mostly because it is more obvious than the rest.
Honestly, I don’t know if this feature will ever come about because Snapchat, at its core is based in secrecy. It is much more intimate than the other social bigwigs, and is only just reaching a point where you would add someone you don’t know in real life.
Still though, it’s a tricky game. How do you make internal discovery feel natural? I see a couple of options:
A “Who’s Snapping Now?” Menu
Similar to what Instagram did with its trending topics, Snapchat could show us popular snappers who’ve posted something in, say, the last hour. Let us browse through them and choose if we want to follow at the end of their story
Remember our branching stories? Why not keep up with what I’m watching the most (i.e. I commonly view stories with “writing” in the title) and show me stories with those words in the title?
A “Who’s Snapping Around You?” Menu
They’ve already got an “add nearby” add feature up there. They already know where you are all the time. The next logical step for me is to give people a toggle where anyone around us can see our snaps at any time.
This has exciting possibilities for brands as well. “If you’re seeing this right now, welcome to Dayton, Ohio! Make sure you come by and get some gourmet chicken nuggets while you’re visiting.”
All exciting options. All fascination possibilities.
I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Or click >right here< to add me if you’re on mobile.
By the way, I’ve been all about Snapchat so far this year. I would love if you check out these resources and let me know what you think: