A Rant About Why Snapchat_s New App Update Sucks

A Rant About Why Snapchat’s New App Update Sucks

If Snpachat’s goal was to create consternation among its users and have them flood Twitter with diatribes and vitriolic comments, then the social media company evidently succeeded with its new app update.

Anger and outrage are often unwarranted when it comes to tech companies updating their apps and software. People tend to overreact, and that’s perfectly fine. Snapchat’s app update, on the other hand, is yet another classic example of a tech company heavily valuing revenue generation over enhancing the user experience. Focusing on revenue-generating features isn’t necessarily a bad thing, primarily when the company is traded on the stock exchange and needs to appease investors continuously. However, with Instagram Stories surpassing Snapchat in the most important metric, daily active users, the last thing Snapchat can afford to do is to lose even more users to its fiercest competitor.

What is the commotion regarding this update? Can it honestly be that bad?

Yes. It’s awful.

Initially announcing the upcoming changes back in October, Snapchat revealed that the app would receive a facelift, which would include adding more algorithms to sort content and the removal of the Stories page. In theory, the app update seems to make sense: prioritizing content based on the people you engage with the most. Other social media platforms have moved in that direction to improve engagement within feeds. However, unlike the other social media platforms, Snapchat is a different beast. The result of Snapchat’s latest update has led to many users begging for the app’s previous interface to come back. Here’s a quick breakdown of why Snapchat’s new update is causing a raucous on Twitter.

Merging Chat and Stories

The most significant update is the removal of the Stories screen, which used to be accessible by navigating to the left screen. The Chat and Stories sections have now been merged to create a brand new Friends screen, which exhibits friends based on Snapchat’s new fancy algorithm, likely sorting friends based on engagement rates. Here is why this is problematic:

Stories are not in chronological order anymore. 

Not being able to view content in chronological order might be the most frustrating aspect of the new mobile app update. Even though it makes sense that Snapchat would list friends based on an algorithm, just like every other social media platform, the entertaining aspect of viewing content in order of recency is long gone. Snapchat was distinct from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter due to not having an algorithm for sorting Stories. The usage of algorithms among Snapchat’s competitors make sense due to the plethora of content available on those platforms. Additionally, posts published on Facebook and Twitter, for example, are not ephemeral and can be viewed at a later date. The beauty of Snapchat and Instagram Stories is that users can see what their friends and brands have published over the past 24 hours, giving them a limited opportunity to view photos/videos before they disappear forever. By sorting time-sensitive content according to an algorithm based on engagement, it will only increase the chances of burying Snaps beneath a list of temporarily inactive users.

How will my friends see my highly embarrassing Stories now??

The removal of auto-advancing through Snaps has also adversely affected the user experience. Rather than letting users watch several Stories in a row, the app now asks users to tap the screen to watch the next Story. The logic behind this particular update may be to ensure that users don’t view Stories from people they do not care about, but it just makes the app less fluid and annoying for everyone in the end. Boo-urns.

Even Hans Moleman isn’t a fan of Snapchat’s new update.

A Brand New Discover Tab

The Discover Page, which used to be a section that featured content from select media partners, is now an entire page dedicated to content from publishers, celebrities, and more.

Why is this problematic for users?

Well, to be frank, I enjoyed viewing Snaps from Gary Vaynerchuk and The White Moose Café alongside the Snaps from my friends. The seamless transition from watching drunken videos from my friends to motivational rants from Gary Vaynerchuk made Snapchat quite enjoyable. However, Snapchat has now separated friends from brand accounts, filling up the Discover section with a bunch of content that users may not want to view. I couldn’t care less about “3rd Wheeling: It’s a Lifestyle,” and whoever Sydney Maler is (apologies to Sydney — you may be an awesome person, but my time is limited).

Although, that story about Grandmas getting high seems pretty interesting. Maybe Snapchat is on to something….

It makes sense why Snapchat would pursue this direction and dedicate more real estate to its biggest influencers and notable brands. The parent company, Snap, needs to continue to increase revenue generation from its flagship product. To do so, providing celebrities, influencers, and brands more opportunities to interact with users is essential. However, giving brands more exposure should have been done without compromising the core feature of the app. Sadly, the new update has created the digital equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster, and quite frankly, Mary Shelly’s version of the creature is far more eloquent and thought-out than Snapchat’s new configuration.

Hey old man — stop crying. People will still use Snapchat, right?

First of all, I’m not old yet (not even 30 – huzzah!). Secondly….it depends. Once the dust settles and users become acclimated to the new layout, there’s bound to be far fewer complaints. That said, Snapchat has already lost a considerable amount of momentum due to Instagram blatantly replicating Snapchat Stories within its environment. Considering users have migrated en masse to Facebook’s prized acquisition, Snapchat needs to focus on retaining users rather than alienating them.

TL;DR version: Snapchat’s new app update sucks.

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Instagram Stories Hits 250 Million Daily Active Users

The Snapchat clone, Instagram Stories, has hit a brand new benchmark, reaching a total of 250 million daily active users.  The Facebook-owned mobile app is quickly surpassing Snapchat as the leader in hosting evanescent content, as more users are ditching the other content sharing app for Instagram. What makes this new benchmark even more impressive is that Instagram Stories only hit the 200 million daily active user mark in April, representing a 25% increase in only two months. With Snapchat’s daily active user base struggling to grow, this is a clear victory for both Instagram and Facebook.

Continue reading “Instagram Stories Hits 250 Million Daily Active Users”

Collections Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

Collections: Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

Bringing various types of multimedia to the forefront, Facebook has launched a new ad format back in March that incorporates videos, images, and spruced-up elements within a single post. The new format is called: Collections. 

Collections Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

As shown in the example above, the new ad format is rich with media and resembles a Canvas creative, which provides a similar experience to that of a landing page hosted within Facebook’s infrastructure. Developed for retailers with product catalogs hosted on Facebook, the objective of this ad format is to showcase collections, using an image or video as the crux of the creative. Advertisers will have the option to embed either a video or an image as the first element of the creative; however, with videos eliciting more engagement than posts using only images, it would be in the best interest of advertisers to use a video as the focal point of the creative. In fact, video content has proven to be highly effective for advertisers of all types: according to Facebook, an impressive 75% of users have stated that watching videos via social media platforms can influence their purchasing decisions.  Continue reading “Collections: Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers”

Six Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Six Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly! With chestnuts roasting on an open fire and good ol’ Saint-Nick getting ready to deliver presents around the globe, a lot can be forgotten during the holiday season. Of course, while people are currently running amok over the next couple of days (either at shopping malls or during office parties), marketing professionals simply cannot put their campaigns on the backburner. This is especially true for ecommerce business, where processing transactions on a daily basis can become more time consuming and physically demanding.

With that in mind, I have prepared some handy tips for marketing during the holiday season. While these are more geared towards B2C businesses and ecommerce stores, the salient points can be applied to the B2B realm (replace “discounts” and “coupons” with “free booze trials”).

1. Keep your SEO campaigns hot with fresh content

Holiday Marketing Tip #1
You better believe Frost is going to be writing a lot of content this winter.

It’s common for companies to think that this is the time of year to be more relaxed when it comes to investing into search engine optimization. However, that’s a myopic approach to take, especially if your goal is to maintain momentum or increase rankings within the next couple of months. SEO is a long-term play and should never be put on “pause”; otherwise, you’re giving the competition an opportunity to vault ahead of you on the first page of search results.

2. Jazz up your social media marketing with awesome content.

Holiday Marketing Tip #2
Although don’t make your promotions too appetizing – you don’t want people to eat their smartphones…

This is the time of year where you can throw all types of promotions at users via social media platforms to achieve great success. The advertising options available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give you the opportunity to extend the reach of your content beyond the confines of your own audience. Of course, remarketing to your existing customers and followers can prove to be fruitful, especially if you roll out fresh promotions and advertise special discounts.

3. There’s no advertising like product advertising.

Holiday Marketing Tip #3
The easier you make it for people to find your products, the easier it is to take their money.

Dominate the space on search engines by pushing your product ads in front of targeted users. With the removal of right-hand side ads earlier this year, Google has made it easier for ecommerce websites to showcase products on both mobile & desktop by increasing the amount of space for product ads. Also, don’t forget Bing when you’re optimizing shopping feeds if you want to reach a larger audience.

4. Incentivize existing customers to purchase more via strategic email remarketing.

Holiday Marketing Tip #4
Stocking stuffers don’t have to be boring…

There’s no better audience to target with limited-time promotions and discounts than your existing customer base. While inboxes tend to receive a plethora of spam during the holiday season, remarketing to your existing customers and subscribers can prove to be quite fruitful once the weather gets colder. Shoppers tend to become more price sensitive and on the lookout for deals, so give them what they seek via targeted campaigns.

3. Create social media gold with interactive contests.

Holiday Marketing Tip #5
Everyone and their grandmothers love contests.

The holiday season is the time for giving, which makes it the best season for contests. As stated previously, shoppers and social media enthusiasts alike are looking for the best deals during the month of December. This is also the time of year when you have the undivided attention of your followers. Make living through frigid temperatures more bearable for your fans by surprising them with engaging contests and wonderful prizes.

6. Always be diligent with money at stake for media buying campaigns.

Holiday Marketing Tip #6
Don’t be a naughty media buyer!

I cannot stress this enough: always double check your ad schedules and budgets for all campaigns, whether it’s on Facebook or Google AdWords. You don’t want to come back from the holiday break to find out that you spent money when your company and/or clients were out of office. On that flip side, you don’t want to under-spend if you’re an ecommerce business when people are actively looking to make purchases online. December is a special month…treat it like one.

Social Media Explained With Whiskey

Want to better understand the social media landscape in 2016? This handy infographic uses whiskey to break down the type of content you’ll see on each platform. Originally posted on the official Rank Media Agency blog here: Social Media Explained with Whiskey.

Social Media - Whiskey Infographic

The Social Media Holiday Season Guide [INFOGRAPHIC]

Utilizing social media marketing for you business during the holiday season? Well, you’re in luck. I’ve provided an infographic below that I prepared over at Rank Media Agency exhibiting which social media platforms can help you generate a positive ROI this season. Additionally, I provide some tips & advice for B2B marketers with regards to LinkedIn, which can prove to be quite a valuable resource for lead generation campaigns.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Season Guide to Social Media Marketing Infographic

 

Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet [INFOGRAPHIC]

When it comes to developing your social media presence, there will always likely be a sticking point in the setup proces: optimizing graphics for cover photos, headers, and profile photos. Unless you actively work in social media marketing, setup programs for a myriad of clients, or have an advanced knowledge of social marketing, it can be tricky to remember the exact dimension of each required social media graphic. Even us experienced veterans in the social media world need to take a peek at a sizes guide just to be certain that all graphics used conform with each platform.

Continue reading “Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet [INFOGRAPHIC]”

Social Media Lessons from 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social Media Lessons from 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

2014 proved to be quite the significant year within the social media marketing realm. With mobile usage on the rise, burgeoning mobile apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have become immensely popular among younger crowds. Facebook continues to reign supreme among all social media platforms, reaching 1.35 billion active users by the end of the calendar year.

Continue reading “Social Media Lessons from 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]”

If Social Media Platforms Were Cats…[INFOGRAPHIC]

There’s no denying that cats rule the Internet. Everywhere you look, whether it’s Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, or your grandmother’s latest email message, images and videos of cats make up a significant portion of the content we consume online. With that said, I am here to present yet another graphic dedicated to our feline friends. The infographic below shows what the state of the Internet (or rather, social media) looks like on a daily basis.

Luckily there are no hairballs, but if there was one included in the graphic, my best bet would be that 4chan would be associated somehow.

If Social Media Platforms Were Cats...[INFOGRAPHIC]
If Social Media Platforms Were Cats…[INFOGRAPHIC]
The Social Media Game of Thrones [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Social Media Game of Thrones [INFOGRAPHIC]

Game of Thrones has captivated audiences of all kinds across the globe, both through the television show produced by HBO and the book series on which it is based, A Song of Ice and Fire. The rise and fall of houses in the series is reminiscent of that in the social media world. As in the thoroughly entertaining work of fiction, the giants of social media compete with one another for supremacy. The inforgraphic below prepared by Marketo likens six social media platforms to various characters from the series. They are:

  • Myspace: Maester Aemon Targaryen
  • Tumblr: Daenerys Targaryen
  • Google+: Pereyr Baelish
  • Twitter: House Stark
  • Instagram: Margaery Tyrell
  • Facebook: House Lannister

Continue reading “The Social Media Game of Thrones [INFOGRAPHIC]”