Facebook & Instagram Continue to Copy Snapchat

Over the last few months, three new announcements came out about Facebook. Each of them points to Mark Zuckerberg taking pages straight out of Evan Spiegel’s book. The three announcements were covered here, here, and here.

First, Facebook is tweaking their live video section to look more like Snapchat’s. Simple enough.

Second, it’s been reported by multiple outlets that Facebook is prepping a competitor for Snapchat’s “Discover” section. It will reportedly be named “Collections”. Everyone wants in on the content game. See side by side examples here (with Snapchat on the left and Facebook on the right):

Third, and the most blatant of all, Facebook has introduced camera effects called “location frames”, which work just like Snapchat’s geofilters. Just like geofilters, users can create and submit illustrations tied to specific locations. Users can also submit more general designs with illustrations not tied to a specific location. No word on if Facebook will create pay-to-play versions of their Location Frames yet. Check out an example below.

Facebook Location Frames

So, it will be interesting to follow along as these two tech titans continue to battle in 2017. One thing is clear – Facebook does not want to relinquish its lead as the go-to social platform.

Update on 12/21/16: Instagram just added a stickers feature, in yet another copy of Snapchat. You can now add “contextual stickers” and “location based stickers” on Instagram. See an example below from Instagram.

instagram adds location and contextual stickers

Instagram Location Stickers

Update on 3/8/17: Instagram Stories launches geostickers. Snapchat launched their geostickers in 2014. Below are screenshots of Instagram’s new geostickers, courtesy of TechCrunch. Take a look at how blatant the copy is…

instagram stories geostickers

Instagram Stories Geosticker

instagram stories launches geostickers

 

Update on 3/10/17: Facebook launches a new feature inside of Messenger called “Messenger Day”. Take a look at the screenshot of the new feature below.

facebook messenger day snapchat clone

Be honest with yourself – is that not an exact clone of Snapchat?! Facebook’s executives are saying no. But I think we can all agree, it’s a clone. Yet another example of Facebook’s inability to innovate. The new feature is only available in the U.S. for now, but it is said to be rolled out to other countries soon.

UPDATE on March 28, 2017: Facebook launches Stories on its mobile app to the whole world. It essentially creates a second Newsfeed for mobile users. This form of “Stories” is basically a straight copy of Snapchat. See below:

facebook stories

UPDATE on April 13, 2017: Instagram announces three(!) new Snapchat feature copies: Geostickers (custom designed stickers at local landmarks), Sticker pinning (just like Snapchat’s motion-tracking emoji feature), and Selfie stickers (quite similar to Snapchat’s scissors tool).

P.S. – If you need custom Snapchat geofilters, we got you  :).

Why Advertising on Snapchat is Better Than Advertising on TV, And Why You Need It Now

Advertising on Snapchat is more effective, and a better long (and short) term strategy, than advertising on TV. I will convincingly make the case in this article.

tv-is-dead

TV Advertising – A Dying Breed

Television commercials have long been the holy grail for advertisers. Largest reach, highest engagement, cheapest cost per view, etc. But that has changed. The majority of TV viewers now record/DVR their shows for later use. Research by YouGov and Deloitte pegs the number at 86%. 86% of viewers always fast-forward through adverts! The exception? Live sporting events (and occasionally local newscasts).

Advertisers are clamoring to be a part of live sporting events in any way possible. That’s the best ROI for TV advertising now, and it’s only going to get more expensive as more brands realize this. The bids are increasing every year. For example, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl in 2010? $3 million. A 30-second spot during Super Bowl 2015? $5 million. That’s a 66% cost increase in just five years, and that’s excluding the costs of video production.

Here’s the thing, though: When the commercials come on during live sporting events (or any other live TV programming for that matter), what do viewers do? Sit back and enjoy the steady stream of commercials? No. They pull out their phones. They check Snapchat. They browse Instagram. They wish their friend a happy birthday on Facebook and browse click-bait articles. They tweet reactions to the game. They check Snapchat and send filtered doggy faces to all their friends. That’s what people do. That’s where they spend their time. Their eyes are focused on the little screen in their hands instead of the big one where your advertisement plays. That small screen is where you need to be as a brand. Still need to be convinced? Here is some data… snap (1)

Data to Support Why Snapchat is Better Than TV

Here’s a few points on how Snapchat sets itself apart from its competitors as a social media platform, why it’s greater than TV for ads, and why it’s an advertiser’s dream:

  • Two-thirds of video snaps are watched with the audio on. That’s a HUGE difference from Facebook. It was recently reported that 85% of Facebook video ads are watched with the audio off.
  • Snapchat has a unique daily reach of 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S., compared with only 6% on TV (according to a Nielsen study in February).
  • Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users (while Bloomberg estimates that number to be 150 million).
  • Snapchatters watch over 10 billion videos per day, which is an increase of over 350% in the last year alone.
  • Snap Ads have an engagement rate 5X higher than the average click-through rate of other social platforms.
  • A National, Sponsored Geofilter on Snapchat reaches 40% to 60% of daily Snapchatters (Taco Bell’s recent Cinco de Mayo Snapchat filter had 224 million views in one day! Gatorade also had a sponsored lens that got 165 million views).

Advertising is a battle for eyeballs, and Snapchat has our attention. Average monthly minutes per user spent on the platform is second only to Facebook among social networks. On TV, or on any other social platform, users hate ads. On Snapchat, users play with the ads. Think about that for a second! Users not only tolerate ads on Snapchat, but they enjoy, engage, and play with them!

tv-dying

What Makes Snapchat Unique for an Advertiser?

Snapchat is a unique platform, and it can be tricky to navigate as an advertiser if you’re unfamiliar with how it works and what types of posts, filters, and lenses work best. Snapchat, by the nature of its disappearing content, creates a sense of urgency that encourages users to take action quickly. This is a crucial aspect of the platform. Some brands view this as a detriment. I view it as a benefit. The 10-second max duration allows the ad spot (or the marketing campaign) to be direct and cuts to the chase. As a result, it allows for more testing to find the best ad creation and targeting combinations.

An important note: there is little competition from other brands and advertisers right now (only ~1% of advertisers are using Snapchat). But that is changing quickly. According to recent research from eMarketer, 22% of media buyers plan to spend on Snapchat this year, compared to only 4% on Facebook and Twitter.

snapchat

How to Advertise on Snapchat

Learning how to effectively advertise on Snapchat needs to be its own post (I’ll tackle that next week). There are various options (in order of cost):

  • Snapchat Discover (the most expensive – starts at $50,000)
  • Sponsored Lenses
  • Sponsored Nationwide Geofilters
  • Snap Ads
  • Sponsored Local Geofilters (the least expensive – starts at $5)

I recently wrote a post about utilizing Snapchat geofilters to sponsor local events. As an agency, we have also launched That’s A Snap, which is a Snapchat filter ecommerce shop that enables you to purchase pre-made filters to use for various events.

Another way to advertise on Snapchat is by teaming up with influencers. There are thousands of influencers on Snapchat that you can hire to create and distribute content for your brand. Some of these influencers get millions of views on every snap they send! I would recommend calculating the cost per average engagement before hiring an influencer, as well as verifying that their following fits your demographic. We would recommend using Microfluencers, who oftentimes can get you a better ROI on your money.

The space here is heating up. Just last week the head of marketing at Wendy’s said “I have taken TV dollars and put them into Snapchat”. Stay tuned  :).

In January 2017, Snapchat announced that one of their proprietary “shows” on their platform, Sweet, gets 16 million monthly viewers. Keep an eye on this space and Snapchat’s continued focus on their content creation and distribution.

Update on March 16, 2017: Adidas announced it will no longer be advertising on TV, and that it’s going all digital now. It has begun!

Update on March 29, 2017: Digital advertising sales officially passed TV ad sales in the US for the first time, $70 billion to $67 billion.

Want to get inspired for your own strategy? Check out this post about creative Snapchat campaigns that various brands have run.

Lastly, do you need a Snapchat marketing agency? That’s us! Contact us today and let’s talk strategy and what campaigns we can run for you to help you achieve your goals!

Have any questions? Tweet me HERE or add me on Snapchat (username: brannybunny).