Snapchat Aims to Change Digital Communication
- Eric Huebner
- On May 14, 2014
Since Evan Spiegel, the founder of social photo sharing app Snapchat, went public with his rejection of Facebook’s $3 billion buyout offer, it seems as though his company has never fully left the limelight. After a period of quiet, the app was dragged into headlines yet again following the leak of 4.6 million confidential usernames. Its latest update is again making waves in the tech community as the company tries to completely revolutionize digital communication.
According to Spiegel, the latest update is meant to offer a reformatted type of text communication that reflects the organic manner in which face-to-face communication takes place.
Not only does the updated app boast a fully refreshed and far more minimalistic interface, but it also offers an entirely new set of communication media to choose from. The update adds both texting and a video-calling function similar to that offered by Skype and Apple’s FaceTime app. Unlike these however, Snapchat’s new capability was designed to reject the traditional phone technology that these apps use.
This means that, rather than setting a time to make a video call, a Snapchat user can simply send quick snippets to a friend. These short clips either wait in the user’s inbox to be opened or can be converted into a full conversation if the recipient is available and chooses to answer. This availability is indicated by the conversion of the “Send” button from yellow to blue and a slow pulsing graphic.
When both users are available for a video chat, each one simply presses their thumb down on the screen and holds it there. By moving it to various parts of the screen, the user can switch between the forward and rear-facing cameras. To hang up, a user simply lifts their thumb.
The text function works in a similar manner and, in keeping with Snapchat’s overall mandate, all texts and video clips disappear the moment a user exits the conversation.
While there may not be a direct-marketing impact stemming from this update, it does serve as a useful indicator for the future of digital communication and, by extention, digital marketing. All signs point to an increasingly ephemeral and rapid type of communication emerging. As such, marketers will have to adapt if they want to continue to harness an increasing consumer reliance on mobile technology.
With the rise of this new type of digital communication, it may become increasingly difficult to market certain brands via more traditional avenues. It’s likely that this new development will catalyze the rise of an entirely new school of marketing, similar to what happened during the initial rise of mobile technology.
[Source: The Verge]
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