One of the platforms that is on the rise is definitely snapchat. Maybe you haven’t heard of the yellow spooky app yet, but especially among teens all over the world it is fast growing (from 3 to 23% in four years). Some blogs even claim that the decreasing of user engagement growth on platforms like Facebook might be driven by platform like snapchat. Reason enough to give it some though right?

Basically this app is adopted mainly by young users, mainly teenagers. 2015 was the rise of the different image based apps like Instagram and Snapchat, although that year the growth rate of Snapchat was bigger, although Instagram was at the end of 2015 still four times as big. Although it seems that both apps are quite similar (you can post pictures and small clips on your profile), there is one big thing that distinguish them from each other: realtime reality.

No uploads
More than Instagram Snapchat is in the moment, realtime, the reality at that exact moment. There are some tools to edit the pictures you take or the clips you shoot, but you can’t upload pre-edited designed materials, as you can do on other platforms like Facebook. That makes it not easy to use as a marketing-tool, where you can upload designed campaigns.

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Ten seconds
There is another big difference: ephemeral! The ‘snaps’ you share are visible for the people that follow you for no more that 10 seconds at the most. Unless you set the timer for less time, than it disappears after exactly the amount of seconds that you have set. If you share clips, the recipients can only watch them twice and they shorts are limited to ten seconds as well. Of course it is possible to make a screenshot, but in that case you will be notified. There is really one exception, this is when you create a story.

A good way of using it, is using it for the fact it is created. Be serious about it, than your followers will threat you in that way.

Full day
The story you build throughout the day will remain for at least 24 hours. All the pictures and clips you place there can be revisited for one full day. Although it seems that this app is not really suited for designed campaigns, it is possible to use it for ministry. First a remark: Please don’t start making pictures of designed pictures and put them as your story. In that case you really don’t understand the true nature of this platform.

A good way of using it, is using it for the fact it is created. Be serious about it, than your followers will threat you in that way. The real time stories that are developing at that moment. Someone sharing a story when he is participating at an event, this is how Red Bull does it for instance. They have someone share the day to day life according the topic that is important for their followers. It is also a great tool to start co-creating with your audience. You might have heard the story Snapchat did on the westbank and Gaza, two days after they did Tel Aviv. All different ways to show the reality.

Other ways of using it? Provide behind the scene updates, content that is not available on other platforms. Ask people to interact with you by the possibilities that the platform provides, like screenshot a picture and start a chat for instance. Find the right influencers for your brand or cause, put your fans into the drivers seat. It is the perfect platform for raw storytelling, and the best part is, you have 24 hours to tell that story and engage people from the beginning to the end!

Maybe the best trick is to learn to use the different filters in a good way. You can add different layers on top of your pictures, like your current speed, time, text, make drawings and of course different filters that you might know from Instagram. With a little bit of creativity there is so much to explore and to do with this app. Don’t be afraid, just download it and start snapping. Like most social media platforms you start understanding by doing it, failing ten times and succeed after that!

Image Today’s Latte, Snapchat by Yuko Honda on (common creative)