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Here’s why the addition of chat and video to Snapchat really matters


Millennials of the world united in an outpouring of joy and excitement when Snapchat started rolling out its Chat and Video functionality earlier this month. Now, although video chat is nothing really new (Skype Video has been around for an age already) Chat is cool for other reasons.

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The reason why this is something special and worth noting is because of one very important fact. Snapchat is allowing video to be uploaded in real-time. Think of it as sharing your camera as opposed to uploading a video.

Let me say that again — it is more like sharing your camera than uploading a video.

When you want to share video in a conversation with BBM or WhatsApp; you need to record the video and then share the media with whomever you are engaged in a conversation with. Snapchat circumvents that little annoyance by allowing you to instantaneously share (either your front or back camera) instantly — live — in real-time with whomever you are chatting to.

In itself this is pretty cool; an instant chat app that allows you to — with the minimum amount of effort and delay — share your camera / video with your friends. But there is another reason that this is awesome for brands and their fans!

Traditionally, the interactions between brands and customers have never really been in real time. Sure, Twitter and the like are pretty real-time when it comes to text — but they didn’t offer real-time video. The images and the video that can be uploaded to Twitter has the potential to be “produced”.

With Chat – brands can literally take their fans backstage… Imagine real-time footage of your favourite band backstage! Imagine brands sharing real-time video content about their product development; their behind-the-scenes of the latest television commercial. Imagine walking through the Googleplex with a Google employee. The brand affinity and the experience that come with that are immeasurable.

There are a few Snapchat marketing pioneers such as Taco Bell and Karmaloop who have put Snapchat video chat on their interactive marketing agenda. “Our social team is excited about the video feature on Snapchat and as with all social platforms and new features, is ideating around the best way we can use this to engage with our fans on Snapchat,” a Yum brands rep has been quoted as saying.

Indeed, brands that want to connect with young adults are increasingly testing Snapchat.

One of the great uses of Snapchat’s new features is to take advantage of the ability to engage with potential buyers by showing off a product. While before a brand could only send pictures of something it was selling, now it has a chance to not only show pictures but also answer questions about it in real-time.

Nissan is using Snapchat to engage potential buyers, asking them to describe on the app what it feels like to drive a Nissan car. The campaign is already being hailed as an innovative way to interact with millennials, who like to feel like a part of any social-media experience, whether they’re talking to friends or brands. Nissan upped the ante by also promising to reward those who share their opinions with prizes, including a PlayStation 4.

What are some of the ways in which you could use Snapchat’s video and chat functionality?

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