Snapchat has revealed yet another series of updates, and this time, one of them will actually be useful. Snap Inc., who showed a 9% share fall this Monday, was an anomaly of an IPO in that the company had a hard time actually proving its ability to churn a profit, yet it’s IPO was declared a roaring success. Popularity doesn’t always translate into income in the tech world, which is reflective of Snapchat’s share decrease. With Snapchat’s latest update, we may see the company increase its value to marketers and therefore shareholders.
Thanks to the most recent update, any user can now share a clickable link on their Snapchats. Before this, the platform had no way to link to websites unless an advertiser had purchased a campaign or was featured in the Discover portion of Snapchat. Brands had limited options when it came to marketing on Snapchat because of this, and none of the platform’s partnership offerings let brands give users a direct pathway to the brand website. As great as an Under Armour Snapchat filter is, marketing through the app’s filters and Discover portion of the platform questionably yielded more than brand lift among users. In a world where sales are the true test of success, it has been hard for Snap Inc. to prove its value. The fact that individuals could not push out links via their Snapchats precluded influencers from directly promoting brands as well, thus making their ability to endorse brands via the platform diluted when looking at a consumer’s path to purchase through the app.
Users can now take a Snap, click the paper clip icon on the righthand side, and paste a link onto the snap. Snapchat has stated that it will monitor links to ensure they are non-offensive, and they are encouraging users to report anything that is inappropriate. Given the platform’s increased appeal to marketers along with their promise to regulate the links added, Snap Inc. will certainly differentiate itself to marketers. Adweek called it “a big win for media companies, which now finally have a way to direct users to their actual websites.” Another reason why the addition of links to Snapchat is of particular interest is that Instagram does not yet have this feature for the casual user. It will not be surprising, however, if Instagram rolls out this feature now too given the platforms’ tendency to adapt to Snapchat’s updates.
Other additions to Snapchat thanks to the most recent update are a backdrop feature and a voice filter feature. The backdrop features allows the user to cut a part of their snap out by using the scissors icon on the right hand side. They can then place colorful backdrops behind the portion of the picture that has been cut out. The voice filter feature allows users to remix the sound of their voice on their snaps. This can be done by tapping the speaker icon, and users no longer have to use a filter to be able to choose a funny voice for their snaps.
While the last two features add to the fun versus the value of the platform, the addition of clickable links should be a big turning point for the company, who has been struggling to spin any real profits. Investors can breathe for now with the addition of clickable links. Only time will tell if this will yield revenue that can bolster the share price in a real way.