The newly public Snap, Inc. has just released another update that shows how the app continues to drive relevance and personalization for users through location. Dubbed as the "Snap Map," Snapchat is now giving these users the opportunity to connect with friends nearby and in the long term, an opportunity for brands to reach users at scale.
What’s the Update? Powered by MapBox, Snap Map shows you where your friends are and shows you where nearby “Our Story” submissions are coming from. For example, on the Snap Map you may see a friend placed in Korea Town while an Our Story will simultaneously appear for a trending (highly submitted) Our Story for a nearby concert in Hollywood.
Moments on the Snap Map are visualized in terms of a heat mapping, where a more red location, the more snaps are being submitted to from that area. Individuals have historically been geotagging their locations, so this new interface makes finding friends and nearby events and news more actionable and relevant to a high-intent Snapchat user.
Not only do users have access to (enabled) friends and trending events nearby, they have visibility to a global map that allows them to view potential travel destination, trending news events around the world and more.
How is this Different From Past Attempts? Snapchat functions in an “in the moment ecosystem,” where people, location and time intersect. This is why for brand marketers, the app is such a significant opportunity. Back in 2014, Foursquare took a stride into capitalizing on this opportunity by splitting the app in two and launching a gamified app called Swarm. Similar to the Snap Map, Swarm gives users visibility to friends nearby and allowed communication to facilitate in-person meet ups.
The challenge with Swarm, however, has been the lack of stickiness in retaining user engagement through relevant real-world events. This is an area where Snapchat has an opportunity to leverage user-generated stories and allow users to facilitate these interactions amongst themselves.
What’s Next? In an interview with Refinery29, Snap’s product designer Jack Brody said “In a lot of ways, we’re taking what a map is and turning it upside down. This map isn’t about where am I, it’s about where are my friends are and what are they up to?”
With this perspective, the online-to-offline objective of making brick and mortar locations the next paid hot spots appears to be the logical next step for brands. For brands that have an audience on this growing platform, location-data investment and optimization is more important than ever.
The first step in taking advantage of Snapchat’s investment is evaluating the health of your location data and determining how you can reach app users through this channel. As Snapchat partners, Brandify is a powerful tool that can guide your campaign strategy, cleanse your data and get you more in-store traffic for all your locations.
Learn more about how Snapchat uses location data for brands in our recent Snapchat webinar.