The Snap Inc. IPO dominated stock and social media news last week, validating the not-at-all-new trend of short ó in form and existence ó video. Snap Inc. closed out its first day of trading at a price of $24.48, a 44 percent increase above its initial offering price.†
So, why are there still so many skeptics?†
When it comes to a social IPO, you can either be a Facebook, or a Twitter. And nobody wants to be a Twitter. Itís easy to look at the numbers and question the plausibility of the channelís growth with respect to daily active users, revenue and profit. Letís face it, itís hard to ignore when a newbie channel loses a reported $514.6 million in 2016 and enters an IPO shortly after.†
My strategy sixth sense (ok, ok, thatís not really a thing) points me toward the broader behavioral trends on social. Snapchat created something so special with its "stories," and Instagram so openly and swiftly imitated it ó the sincerest form of flattery, right? The main difference is that on Instagram, the 24-hour story is simply another feature alongside Boomerang and Hyperlapse videos, Layout collages, Carousel galleries. On Snapchat, itís the whole kit and caboodle.†
So pure, so simple. Sure, you can message users and brands, finagle with filters and stickers, and even integrate your Bitmoji character into your content. These features exist peripherally on the channel, only as a means to enhance the story-centric experience.†
How users behave is harder to measure on Snapchat, making it less attractive to some brands laser-focused on measuring an immediate return for a mostly organic output. That's not enough for me to recommend against it.
Snapchat isn't about how many followers a user has. The value for brands and influencers alike is in viewership; for loyal viewers, value is found in quick-to-consume, always fresh content. The simplicity of the channel has sustained it thus far, and will continue to be its propelling force in the face of an ever-evolving industry with plenty of competition.