This update is a result of Snap Inc.’s secret $250-$350 million acquisition of the social app Zenly. Zenly's function is essentially identical to SnapMap. As of yet, no one from Snap Inc. has claimed that one could use SnapMap for marketing, but imaginative marketers could find a way to leverage it.
How To Use SnapMap
To open the feature, simply pinch to zoom out on the SnapChat camera home screen. This brings you to the map, where you can see your region and any friends that are nearby.
You don't have to share your location to access this feature. You can enter “Ghost Mode,” which means you can still view the map and any local stories without others seeing you. Other options include enabling “All Friends” to see your location or only “Some Friends.” You can also still use the app with SnapMap turned off.
You can keep zooming out to see the world map, allowing you to navigate the globe. From there, you can view your friends’ stories and send direct messages by tapping their “ActionMoji,” which is a little avatar users can make of themselves courtesy of Bitmoji.
You can also submit SnapChat story posts to “Our Story” via the Story Search Feature. This enables stories to potentially appear to non-friends on the map for approximately 24 hours. Through this Story Search feature, users can view Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news etc., all of which is user generated footage. You can find these stories in areas of the map that are colored red. It essentially works like an infrared chart, the “heat” an area equates to SnapChat activity.
The purpose of SnapMap is to bring users closer together and explore the world. It’s a subtle way to see what friends are up to, and unlike other real-time location sharing platforms, it's a lot less intimidating.
How Could You Use SnapMap for Marketing?
There’s no news as to whether one could use SnapMap for marketing. However, marketers are beginning to experiment with SnapChat, so this is likely to change. Since snaps are short lived, they make content more valuable and more exclusive. SnapChat is already a favorite social media app of Millennials and Generation Z. Since they represent your future customers, it would be wise to pay attention to their interests.
It’s theoretically possible to use this new feature in your marketing. For instance, you could host an event and encourage snap shares to “Our Story.” Doing so not only creates an experience for your customers, it also humanizes your brand. The type of event you host could also solidify your brand identity. For example, a music series would emphasize the fun aspects of your brand and show that you are interested in taking part in cultural events.
Marketing on SnapMap could be as simple as getting everyone in the office to snap to Our Story. This would generate Snap activity in a concentrated area that can potentially be featured. This could provide more transparency to your company culture and shed light on the people that make your company great.
Only time will tell if marketers embrace SnapMap. If you think it represents a marketing opportunity for your business, start using it early before other brands adopt it. You’ll be ahead of the curve.
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