The buzz on Facebook from the F8 event is still fresh but new Piper Jaffray research that teens view Snapchat as the ‘most important’ social network might explain some of the key features that were introduced. While the chat-social platform just barely edged our Facebook-owned Instagram, its rating in the research almost doubled and that has certainly been noted by the world’s largest social network.
During F8, Facebook’s Developer Conference, Mark Zuckerberg told us bots are back and (will be) better than ever, global connectivity is a priority and it’s taking ‘mobile first’ to a new level. But Snapchat probably saw the motivation behind much of the innovation.
Snapchat Has Momentum
The feisty startup was mocked for declining a $3 billion dollar Facebook acquisition sometime ago, although Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel will certainly be last-laughing as it is now valued at about $19 billion. The Ghost had its own rollout of new features earlier in the year that was no less transformative. Chat 2.0 is huge, 3-D video stickers are getting a lot of use and their promised marketing metrics are coming into focus.
Yet, much of Facebook’s new features feel a lot like they’re encroaching on Snapchat territory. With a focus on building out the Facebook Messenger app and its ecosystem, Zuckerberg seems to be zeroing in on the chat experience. In fact, if you line up the recent moves by Facebook-owned Instagram, it’s like a ground war against Snapchat, with forces approaching them from all sides.
Mobile Is Today’s Social Media Background
For some time, the industry has been noting that Snapchat might be “TV for Millennials and Gen-Z” because it has been drawing their eyeballs in on mobile, even transforming the use of vertical, short-form video. Facebook is latching onto that idea based on its research that shorter videos are drawing much better engagement on mobile than longer ones.
To that end, Facebook is showing brands how content created for TV can be ‘mobilized’ with consideration for length, silent viewing and other minor changes that make those expensive television ads play well on a smartphone. If brands consider these parameters earlier in the process, they can make better creative decisions on effective multichannel content that will reach the younger audience that consumes most of their content on their smartphones.
What Does This Mean For Influencer Marketing
Brands are running out of excuses for not having a mobile-first focus for their campaigns, including live stream opportunities that both Snapchat and Facebook Live facilitate. The great news is that ephemeral formats like Snapchat, Periscope and YouNow do not need to stay that way. Much as the smart folks at Roker Labs are doing when they create live streaming content that works across social media networks, brands can now plan for content that could live on Snapchat temporarily and find a more permanent home on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms that retain content.