Snapchat users show an evident interest in showing what is happening, and where it is happening.
Forming partnerships with, and buying, geographical data-oriented companies, Snap is making sure that it capitalizes on its geofilters. The feature, that since launch has seen its camera oriented design copied by every major social media platform, lets users instantly put their location into their messages. This has become an integral part of how users are engaging with its social media platform. This year, from February to July, the feature has gone from being used 1 billion times a day to around 2 billion. It’s big business for Snapchat, and considering how it has gotten backlash due to the unexpectedly low revenue it seems intent on using this feature in an effort to prove doubters wrong. As if it wasn’t obvious enough, the recently released Snap Map feature indicates a re-orientated focus on geography.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something is changing behind the curtains. First, it shook hands with Foursquare, and that was in November 2016. Then, just about a month ago, the company bought Placed and partnered up with Factual. Placed is a location intelligence and advertisement oriented company which measured more than $500 million spent as a result of its services over the past year, Factual is a company which has detailed location data from a whopping 52 countries. These companies will provide a lot more options for Snapchat to connect its users to not only people but companies as well. Don’t forget, Snap Map was added just recently as well and is likely the result of the company’s new focus on location.
It’s been three years since the geofilter feature launched, so it seems that time is nigh to make proper use of it. Forming these partnerships has allowed the company to unlock their geographical shackles. Initially, the company was largely limited to using geofilters in big cities. But this has changed, now you can mark down your location largely regardless of where you’re located. The company has announced today that every minute its geofilters are viewed over 1.5 million times through messages or stories. Multiply that by the number of minutes in 24 hours and you get 2.16 billion views. Though you may theorize that the popularization of the feature comes from a strong growth in its user base this isn’t the case, the daily user count has only grown 7.7% since the company announced its February IPO filing. Just to clarify, that’s less than double.
Since Snap launched its social media platform it has seen much retaliation and copying of its features from its competition. Luckily for Snapchat, it differs heavily in how its users primarily engage with the platform, giving it some leeway to shape the identity of both itself and its users. Facebook, by far the company’s strongest competitor, was very quick to copy the visual design of Snapchat. In light of this, the company needs to not only find new streams of revenue but also ensure that the visual and geographical aspects of its user experience can grow and ensure a sustainable business model.