Snapchat recently unveiled a range of changes to functionality, navigation and offerings of the social media app at their annual (and virtual) Snap Partner Summit. Snapchat, which reaches more users aged 13-34 than Facebook or Instagram, is likely trying to refine their navigation as they add new features to reach and monetize broader audiences.
What Is Included In The Snapchat Action Bar?
The Snapchat action bar, which lives at the bottom of the Snapchat app, includes tappable icons for the Snap Map, Chat, Camera, Stories and Discover. The icons change contextually with the user’s habits, but are essentially a way to allow easier access to Snap features previously accessed through swiping, often found intuitive only by the young minds of native tech users.
Social Media Today notes that “In the past, Snap has actually, seemingly, tried not to make its app overly easy to navigate, as a means to keep out older audiences, but now, as it looks to expand its user base, the new function options will make it easier to tap across to each element within the app.”
What Benefits Does The Snapchat Action Bar Offer?
Aside from simplifying navigation, the action bar also allows Snapchat to highlight some new changes to Snapchat, including:
Snap Map Places: The Snap Map, which allows users to opt into showing their friends where they are, now also offers information about businesses. Snapchat Places “will highlight stores and popular places, with supplementary information including Snaps from the location, the address, hours of operation and reviews from TripAdvisor and Foursquare. It [Snap Map] will also facilitate direct ordering from food businesses within the app.”
Topic Stickers: Topic Stickers live in Stories and function similarly to hashtags, allowing users to add their stories to Our Story -- Snapchat’s public feed -- and have it be a part of collective conversations. According to Snapchat, “Use a Topic sticker or submit your Snap to a Community Topic, like ‘Life Hacks’ or ‘Oddly Satisfying’ and browse Topic Pages to explore Snaps based on what you care about most."
Happening Now: The addition of Happening Now to the Discover tab allows Snapchat to compile all the current news from their media partners, including The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters, NBC News, ESPN, NowThis, E! News and BuzzFeed News.
Snapchat Originals: Snapchat Originals, which is part of the Discover content, is growing to include a new slate of series and is adding augmented reality (AR) components so viewers can be part of the action. Discover has seen significant growth year over year for Snapchat. According to Snapchat, “More than half of the U.S. Gen Z population are watching Snap Originals. Part of what makes Snap Originals so unique is not just the way the stories are told, but the types of stories that reflect the wide range of passions, experiences and voices of our community.”
How Do The New Snapchat Changes Benefit Digital Marketers?
An expanded audience and features that cater to different users within Snapchat could offer targeting opportunities for advertisers, particularly for campaigns aligned with popular topics or new Snapchat original series. The new Snapchat Places feature is an obvious choice for restaurant and bar brands placing ads. The AR features and lenses have always offered opportunities for partnerships, and the expansion of AR within Snapchat could present new opportunities for advertisers.
The Snapchat action bar is in the process of rolling out to users in the U.S., while other features are available now.
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