Image: Blogtrepreneur/Flickr Image: Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

When Snapchat first made its way onto the App Store’s top charts back in 2011, people were a little sceptical. Sending a photo to a friend with a ten-second time limit seemed not only a little unusual but somehow rather pointless.

Multimedia messages had been around for donkey’s years and well, how were you meant to fully appreciate your mate’s roast dinner picture, whilst becoming unnerved by the countdown timer in the corner?

It appeared certain that Snapchat would end up face-first in the digital dustbin alongside fellow fad apps such as Flappy Bird and Dubsmash.

But how wrong we were.

Fast forward to 2016 and the ever-growing social platform has exceeded over 100 million users getting snap-happy on a daily basis. Those clever people at Snapchat have managed to move away from their original intent to help teens share their selfies with puppy face filters (if you’re unfamiliar with this term that’s a whole new story for another day) and have started to lend a helping hand to big name businesses in developing their marketing techniques.

As one of the fastest growing social networks it is no shock that firms have taken on board the popularity of these low-cost, short-term visual messages and have used them to their advantage. Millions of businesses, from Amazon through to Nike, have utilised the ‘behind the scenes’ authenticity that Snapchat can provide.

With its ‘story’ feature, users can create image and video ‘stories’ exceeding the ten-second rule, ideal for companies to display anything they want – from sneak peeks of exciting upcoming projects to Friday afternoon Nerf Gun fights in the office (guilty!).

Snapchat is an ideal way to show audiences how brands differ from their competitors, breaking away from same old company culture. The bolder the stories, the better they are accepted. Companies have even started giving employees complete control of the feed, allowing audiences the chance to feel part of the team and making them more aware of what goes on behind office doors.

Users are able to tap through stories while waiting in queues or simply eating their lunch and in doing so can achieve a sense of being there in the moment.

Sounds simple, right? And that’s exactly what appeals. It’s the simplicity and the ‘in the moment’ feel that has made this such a success. With a sense of both immediacy and urgency unlike other platforms, this app can make you feel involved. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, Snapchat provides a special kind of content that isn’t available on any other digital platform.

With the option now available to customise and create your own filters (you know, the images that appear on top of your pictures) and with famous brands raking in hundreds more fans through the Live Stories feed, it seems the future looks even brighter for the Snapchat team.

These snaps may only last for a short period of time before they disappear forever, but the Snapchat platform looks as if it’s here to stay for a lot longer than that. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.

By S3 Advertising,

Originally posted on S3 Advertising also a partner of Cardiff Business Week.