The Latest: Facebook's Snapchat Killer is Live

Here is our take on the most notable stories in Digital and Social Media Marketing from last week.

Last week, Facebook launched Facebook Stories, their potential Snapchat-killer. Not to be outdone themselves, Snapchat announced that they will be introducing search into their app sometime this year. Both of these features will give digital marketers more opportunities to reach their audiences and encourage them to act. Here's what you need to know.

Facebook Is Copying Snapchat...Again

eMarketer | March 29, 2017

Last year, Facebook-owned Instagram launched a "Snapchat-inspired" feature called Instagram Stories. Last week, the main Facebook app introduced an identical feature.

Dubbed Facebook Stories, this disappearing content platform is clearly a proactive move to avoid losing market share to the quickly-growing Snapchat. However, Facebook Stories could actually become larger than Snapchat by the end of the year.

According to eMarketer, 67% of US social media users regularly use Facebook, 34% regularly use Instagram, and 29% regularly use Snapchat. This means Facebook only needs a fraction of their audience to adopt their newest feature in order to eclipse the original disappearing content app.

Our Take

For advertisers, both Facebook and Instagram Stories present a more viable option than Snapchat. When "Story Ads" go live they will seamlessly be integrated into Facebook's existing self-serve ad platform. Currently, a self-serve Snapchat platform is hard to come by. Additionally, due to Facebook and Instagram's huge scale advantage over Snapchat, their ads will most likely be more cost-effective. In relation, the demographics of Facebook users are much more diverse than the younger-skewing Snapchat. Most importantly, Instagram's and Facebook's Story ads are designed to convert with the option to "swipe up" to go to a landing page. This feature is something that Snapchat has yet to roll out.

Snapchat adds new Stories search feature, opening up more places for ads

Business Insider | March 31, 2017

Fresh off their IPO, Snapchat has been hard at work as well. Last Friday, Snapchat announced that it is dipping their toes into the world of search. When live, their search function will allow users to lookup any of the "1 million crowd-sourced stories," which are stories posted to public feeds.

Our Take

Snapchat will surely devise a way to monetize this search function down the road and, if it's any indication from the previous article, Facebook is probably not far behind in launching something similar. For marketers, this could present a very unique and interesting opportunity to engage with users on a geographic basis while they are actively engaging with your brand.

In a purely speculative use-case at this point, it is not too hard to envision a situation where a Snapchat user is seeing ads for New York Yankee merchandise when they are searching for stories posted by users at an on-going Yankee game.

The opportunity to reach users in real-time while they are showing interest in your brand could be a game-changer.

Stat of the Week via Global Web Index

Internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 spent over two hours a day on social media platforms in 2016. This is up from about 1 hour and 45 minutes a day in 2015.

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