Post Your Life Story. Everywhere
What started out as a 24 hour Snapchat post feature turned into mass social media live feeds. On Instagram, Facebook, and who knows next? Time restricted content and 24 hour posts are what made Snapchat great. Now, rivals are coming for Snapchat’s neck. Shareholders want to know, what does thismean for Snap’s future?
Snap Inc stock is down, what will get it up? Snap Spectacles? A new feature? A new function? A little blue pill? (I know that’s exactly where your mind went first.)
The future of Snapchat is unclear. Mostly, because it’s whole fundamental premise is duplicatable. As demonstrated by Instagram and Facebook. Still, most would agree that Snapchat’s format is simpler and easier, but IG and FB will optimize their systems to be equally as good as Snap pretty soon. Most people already have FB and IG, Snapchat is the least popular social media network, maybe because it’s not actually a network.
What makes sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so great is the network effect. You know me, I know this person, therefore, once you join my network, I connect you to all my connections, and you connect me to yours. We have the ability to meet more people and scale or connections by joining not just people, but networks of people. Snapchat has no sense of network connection. I send a snap to you, you see it, you send one back to me, I see it, transaction complete. Thank you, come again.
Snapchat did update to add conversation groups where each member sees and responds to the same content. That’s great, but still, there’s no network effect. All those people, you already know. There’s no way to meet new people by searching through someone’s network. There’s no way to discover mutual friends, or friends through common interests. In a cyber world consisting of networks of people, a single connection is nothing.
Adding the concise news articles on the Snapchat Story page was a nice touch. Kids like news, but they don’t like searching for it. We like it when news finds us. Snapchat got this feature right. They post interesting and relevant news articles everyday. But is news really going to get people to stay?
Snapchat’s main winning features have already been copied by dominant social networks. What new addition will they bring that distinguishes them as a dominant force again? More specifically, what new addition that’s not easily duplicated.