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Anti-Social: Snapchat Memories

28th July 2016 | Paige Ardrey

Each week our anti-social bloggers will be bringing you the latest quarrels from our Social Team, debating for and against the newest social updates hot off the digital press.

If you were to stroll over to the eight&four Social Team at any time you’d be sure to find three things; copious sugary snacks, raucous laughter and someone taking a stellar Snapchat selfie. The latter is something we pride ourselves on above all else. So it will come as no surprise to all who know us that the team has been rocked to it’s core by the latest Snapchat update – Memories.

Memories allows Snapchats users to download, edit, and republish their photos and videos, and people can now upload content straight from their camera roll. This week Paige and Sarah are back to discuss the ramifications of Memories for brands, and of course the big question, “How will this affect my selfies?” 

PA: I kind of feel like Snapchat is dominating my life right now, is that okay? Am I the only one? Should I do something about this?

SW: Nah, I think you’re fine. It’s the millennial condition.

PA: Not sure I’m feeling Memories though. Surely this completely overhauls what the app was previously about? It’s stripped Snapchat of that ephemeral, reactive, exclusivity and is moving closer to the curated and brand focused style of Instagram. As a user that’s not what I want from this platform.

SW: But as an agency it’s incredibly exciting, no? We’re basically being handed the chance to remotely manage a platform that previously was impossible to plan for. Before Memories we were only able to assist on strategy for in-house teams, whereas now we can curate and distribute content. I think the perfect balance for brands could be a mix of these two content types, keeping that ‘live’ feeling but also adding a touch more quality to content.

PA: Quality in theory, but is that actually happening? Brands such as Misguided have been clogging my feed with what is basically a catalogue of their products. That’s not what I want from my Snap story, especially not from a fashion brand. We’re used to seeing behind the scenes snippets from photo-shoots, street style snapping in action, models living the dream – that’s what I follow these brands for. If I wanted to scroll through endless images of their products I’d take a look at their website.

SW: But there are a lot more creative ways to use stories. Just because brands haven’t got it right straight off the bat doesn’t mean they won’t eventually, or maybe you’re just following the wrong brands.

PA: Ouch.

SW: Yeah that was a serious social burn. I apologise.

PA: I forgive you. But honestly, I’ve been seeing ads in Stories for a while now and it bothers me. I find it really distracting to the user experience and I’m concerned Snapchat are becoming far too ad focused and ignoring their user base.

SW: Okay we get that you don’t like ads in your snaps.

PA: I really don’t! I’m also not convinced it’s a great thing for brands. The growing commercial aspect of the platform takes away a certain genuineness that was really valuable to brands in terms of discovering micro trends and creating intimate brand experiences.

SW: But what I’m saying is that none of that has to change. This is simply another great creative capability for users – the update isn’t just for brands. Millennials love Snapchat because there are so many ways to create personalised content, and a step towards a more curated platform doesn’t necessarily mean a less creative platform.

PA: Snapchat will always be valuable to brands trying to connect with Millennials in a meaningful way, but it’s the ‘meaningful’ part that’s up for discussion here. If like you said brands get the right balance of live and republished content we’ll be fine, but if not we’re looking at a lot of spam which could affect the credibility of the platform.

SW: But, seriously, how will this affect my selfies?

PA: I can only imagine there will be more of them?

SW: Excellent.