03.15.18

Stories Everywhere: Preparing Snapchat For the Future

It doesn’t take much to see that Snapchat’s changing. Snapchat’s user growth increased by 5.05% in Q4 beating Wall Street’s expectations. Today, Snapchat has roughly 187MM daily active users (DAUs). Moreover, Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, reported that 90% of Snap Ads were bought programmatically, lending further proof to the efficacy of its auction-based ad buying system. But of all the stats unveiled in the Q4 roundup, the one holding the most promise may be the fact that the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in the “Rest of the World” region nearly doubled. For advertisers, this translates to “Snapchat is operating more efficiently in areas with slower connections.” Over time, this could open the door to global campaign execution and a significant bump in reach.

The real story begins, however, when you consider the strategic, albeit uncharacteristic move that goes against the historical grain for Snapchat. Instead of keeping its users in its mobile app, Snapchat is now allowing users to share content outside of its core app through a feature called “Stories Everywhere.” While the move may seem counterintuitive, it’s one made to foster user growth while continuing to make Snapchat a popular and engaging destination for premium content.

How Stories Everywhere Works

Historically, Snapchat’s main allure was its exclusivity—unless you had a Snapchat account, you couldn’t view its content. That worked for Snapchat as it established itself, but, as its industry counterparts moved further away from this insular approach, Snapchat seems to have reacted by wholly embracing the shift.

With this pivot, anyone can watch and share select Snapchat content to Facebook, Twitter, email, text messages, third-party websites, and more—all via a link generated by Snapchat. Snapchat is initially restricting content eligible for Stories Everywhere to Official Stories, Our Stories, and Search Stories, but we’re bullish that this will eventually encompass more of Snapchat’s content types as its re-design and new features take shape.

Official Stories: Content created by celebrities and influencers will last 24 hours outside of Snapchat

Our Stories: Content created by Snapchat around marquee events, for example, will last for up to 30 days outside of Snapchat

Search Stories: Content created based on topic or location will last for up to 30 days outside of Snapchat

Stories Everywhere: Preparing Snapchat for the Future

Stories Everywhere is a significant change to the Snapchat experience. This isn’t an “advertising thing” yet, but it’s changing Snapchat, and it could impact advertising opportunities soon. Here’s why it could ultimately be a boon for advertisers:

Increased Discoverability & User Growth: The immediate benefit of Stories Everywhere pertains to the reach and addressable audience for publishers and influencers. As these parties strategically curate and place content around the web, don’t be surprised if the coming fiscal quarters result in a noticeable upswing in older demographics turning to Snapchat. The extended reach may also be enough to entice influencers previously unattached to Snapchat’s model to make the switch. Theoretically, they would also bring with them their loyal followers from other realms.

More Content From Publishers & Influencers: By allowing content to survive for a more extended period outside the app, Snapchat could be creating an environment for publishers and influencers to create more content. Why? Because more strategic opportunity is available. A publisher, for example, could use Stories Everywhere to point Snapchat users to its website. Ultimately, this extended reach via cross-posting can add value insofar as broadening the opportunities and chances for engagement at different points within the purchase lifecycle.

Proof of Concept for Snapchat: Not only will publishers and influencers continue to see how many views their content receives within the app, but Snapchat’s commitment to measurement solutions is apparent by the ability to report on impressions outside of the mobile app. This alone could be a selling point for advertisers focusing on reach. Plus, Snapchat’s counterparts don’t currently support cross-platform sharing, which makes this offering even more enticing.

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It’s too soon to tell, but the impact of Stories Everywhere may reach beyond Snapchat’s immediate audience. If this catches on, it’s likely that this will affect the broader digital advertising space. As we wait to see what Snapchat rolls out over the coming quarters regarding both capabilities and paid ad offerings, take the time now to experiment and acquaint yourself with the new organic content experience.