Unless you’ve been living under a rock for this past year, then you’ve probably heard about hot new social apps like Snapchat, Secret, and Whisper. They’ve been getting a lot of press, investors are throwing money at them, and millions of users are flocking towards these apps.
The question is, should you care?
The short answer is it depends. These apps may be making waves in the mobile and social realms but then again, just because something’s hot, doesn’t mean you should jump on it.
Before investing your resources into these apps, you have to ask a few key questions:
- Who is your target audience and are they using the app?
- Is your brand in line with the premise of these apps, or will your presence in these social networks seem salesy or unnatural?
- If you do decide to create a campaign for these apps, how you can you execute it in a way that would provide value for both you and the audience?
To help you answer these questions, we’ve put together a basic primer on Snapchat, Whisper, and Secret. In this post we will talk about the basics of each app, what they’re about, and which brands are using them.
Look over the material below and use it to determine whether or not these social networks are for you:
At a glance: Developed by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, Snapchat is a messaging app that enables users to snap a photo or video, add a caption, and send it to their friends. What’s unique about how it works is that the photo or video would disappear after a few seconds, and be deleted from Snapchat servers. The only way recipients can save the image is if they take a screenshot before it disappears.
Users also have the option to add their Snaps to their Snapchat Story, “where each Snap lives for 24 hours until it disappears, making room for the new.”
Users: The majority of users using Snapchat are between 13-23 years of age, meaning it’s very youth-centric and may not be for brands catering to older users. That said though, it may still be worth watching this space, because it seems that it has a growing base of users aged 40 years and up.
The app is often used to take selfies, and according to its Wikipedia page, about 30% of Snaps are sent to groups.
As for where these users are located, Spiegel mentioned that as of April 2013, 80% of the apps users are in the United States
Interesting tidbits: In 2013, Snapchat famously declined a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook. This created a stir among tech and business communities, raising debates on whether or not it was the right decision.
Brands that are on it: There are a number of brands leveraging the service. They include:
McDonald’s – In February 2014, the fast food chain teamed up with NBA superstar Lebron James to promote its new bacon clubhouse product. According to AdAge, the Snap went like this:
Mr. James appears about eight seconds in, obscured by a bust of a man’s head.
Mr. James appears toward the end of the story, saying, “Welcome to the club, baby.” The scene then shifts to a picture of burgers and fries with the text “New bacon clubhouse!”
The segment also features Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and top NFL prospect Johnny Manziel.
Taco Bell – Known as one of the first brands to experiment with the service, Taco Bell started “snapping” in May of 2013, when it used the service to reintroduce its Beefy Crunch Burrito.
Acura – In July 2013, the luxury automaker sent a six-second clip of its new NSX supercar to the first 100 people who added Acura_Insider on the service.
At a glance: Secret is an anonymous content-sharing app that enables users to send out messages to their friends—without having to attach their identity. Users can share what’s on their mind and personalize their posts with a color backdrop or photo. When a “Secret” is sent out, people in your network will see it, and they can choose to like or comment on it. The more people like a post, the more it spreads, and according to the app, “the most interesting posts can travel around the world.”
Users: At present, we couldn’t find any publicly available information about Secret’s user base.
Interesting tidbits: The app created quite a stir when someone claiming to be from Evernote sent out a post saying that their company is about to get acquired. The post turned out to be false, but the incident still garnered a bit of press coverage.
Brands that are on it: Gap claims to be the first brand to use the service. In February 2014, someone sent out a post saying, “This is the first Fortune 500 company to post on Secret. Guess who?”
Gap soon confirmed that the post did indeed come from them.
At a glance: Like Secret, Whisper is an anonymous sharing app that lets people send out messages free from any links to their identity. Unlike Secret though, posts on Whisper are sent out to the entire community, and not just to your circle of friends. Users can like hearts posts and send out replies in the form of Whispers.
Users: According to TechCrunch, Whisper’s key demographic is young adults aged 18-24. The tech blog reported that the app gets more than 1.5 billion page views a month and it received around 50,000 downloads in the first 48 hours of launching on Google Play.
Brands that are on it: So far, no brand has claimed to be using Whisper for marketing or advertising services. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any brands using the service.
As Forbes noted, Whisper can actually be an excellent research tool to find out what people are really thinking about a brand. As the article put it, if you’re a big enough brand, you can run a search on the app and discover what other users are saying about you.
Are you using any of these apps for marketing or research purposes? Are you planning to do so in the future? Let us know in the comments.