In the last year, Snapchat has changed their entire business model. Remember when they were trying to sell Lens (selfie filters) for $0.99? Those days are long gone. Snapchat has recognized that making money takes much more than trying to sell cheap items to teenagers and college students. Snapchat is now Snap, Inc. that sells Spectacle sunglasses, offers million dollar advertising packages to WSJ and ESPN and is working with a number of other major tech companies to promote services and products.
So, now that Snap, Inc has jumped into the tech industry head first, how long is it going to take before they start promoting self driving cars or even offer products that work on self driving cars? If we are truly going to see a self driving car with no steering wheel or gas pedal it stands to reason that drivers and passengers will want to entertain themselves in some way.
We already know that Snapchat users do not curtail their Snapchat usage while in a moving vehicle. In fact, many of the most popular Snapchat users sing and dance while driving for their Snapchat story. While we don’t condone Snapchatting while driving we do know it is a very popular activity for millennials. Heck, there is even a Snapchat speed filter that allows users to show just have fast they are moving. Even though Snapchat has encouraged users to “not Snap and drive” it is still a filter that is available to all.
So, when self driving cars become common, how will Snapchat benefit? We know that Snapchat strategically picks which stories show up on the Discover tab on your home screen. Do not be surprised to see more and more tabs for vehicle and car advertisers. Snapchat knows their audience is just now getting to driving age. What better way to make money than to promote expensive vehicles for teens looking for a new car for their 16th birthday?
As we get closer to a life in which we are all traveling in self driving cars it will be interesting to watch and see how tech companies play the game. Google, Apple and Facebook have all tested the waters when it comes to hardware in vehicles. Now, we are likely to see some type of software additions as well. Do not be surprised to see Snapchat as one of the accessories for your new car or truck in the near future.