Snapchat has come a very long way. Back in 2013 we were writing about how Snapchat changed communication through “visual texting”. First generation Snapchat users can remember when it was an app used solely to send destructible pictures to their friends. Today, it is a full fledged media company. After a year in which Snapchat lenses exploded and filter games became a thing, Snapchat made some big moves late in 2016 that most people didn’t even read about. Snapchat announced a Bachelor After Party TV show and purchased augmented reality company Cimagine.
In 2017 Snapchat will become a full fledged media company with television shows and virtual reality filters for consumers, businesses and brands. Since releasing Snapchat Stories we knew it was inevitable that Snapchat would have their own TV shows. With millennials no longer buying cable because they are watching hour after hour of TV on Netflix, Snapchat has a huge opportunity to keep eyeballs on their app even longer.
Having been around college students long enough, we know that at any moment of boredom millennials are opening Snapchat or Instagram. They are clicking to watch every single one of their friend’s stories. After watching all their friend’s stories they then go to the Discover tab to see what else they can watch. As soon as TV shows become available, Snapchat users will consume them frequently. The only issue we foresee with these TV shows is the ability for a user to pause and start the show from where they stopped.
Netflix has become king of the autoplay and jump to the last thing watched. In fact, Amazon Prime and HBO GO are losing part of their audience because users are sick of having to figure out where they left off. If Snapchat can figure this out, they will get huge viewing numbers. It wouldn’t be surprising to see 10 to 15 million viewers of a popular TV show on Netflix. For comparison’s sake, the most popular cable TV show, The Walking Dead, gets around 15 million viewers per show. Can you imagine how many more they would get if it were aired on Snapchat?
The other area in which Snapchat will dominate will be overlay objects and items. With the purchase of Cimagine, Snapchat laid the groundwork for the year of augmented reality in 2017. In the coming months, Snapchat users will be able to select an item and place it anywhere they like on the screen of their iPhone or Android within the Snapchat app.
Think of walking into an empty apartment, taking out your iPhone and placing an HD TV on the wall, a new Pottery Barn couch in the living room and a coffee table from Restoration Hardware in front of the couch. You can then choose which appliances will look best and the color scheme you would like to use. Do you think retailers wouldn’t jump at this opportunity? After placing the couch and liking it, you can then click to buy and have it shipped to the location of your new apartment.
Ok, let’s say you aren’t apartment or house hunting. Maybe you are in high school and are trying to pick out a dress for prom. Your friends want to go out and try on dresses. Well, instead of having to try on every color to see what looks best with your skin complexion you can simply have someone take a Snapchat picture of you and you can change the color of the dress you are wearing. You can even put the dress on and use the virtual reality to wear Jimmy Choo heels vs Christian Louboutin red bottoms.
After you have selected the perfect dress and heels you can then use the face filters to see which type of Sephora or Ulta makeup to wear that will look the best. The possibilities are endless. While Facebook is trying to figure out how to get gamers to play Oculus Rift, Snapchat will be appealing to the young crowd that will be spending money for the next five decades.
Just wait, 2017 will be the year of Snapchat and TV shows and virtual reality are just the start.