von Marc Schmitt
Snapcodes were introduced in 2015. Presented in a QR code-like array of dots, they also have a (ghost-shaped) space in the center for a personalized image. Each user has a unique arrangement of dots. By scanning a Snapcode with the Snapchat camera, a new contact is added to your list. Snapcode images can be added to websites, printed materials and other social media channels, thus enabling an account to be shared with a broader audience.
A personalized URL
At the start of this year, Snapchat launched a new way to share a Snapchat username publically. By using (and customizing) the address, a personalized URL can be created and shared. This is particularly useful for promoting Snapchat through other media. For example, by using a Facebook “clicks to website” ad people can be sent directly to a Snapchat account.
The “add nearby” function
Relying on GPS, this Snapchat feature provides people the chance to locate people nearby. For example, if at an event with a group of interesting new contacts (who use Snapchat), they can be now be identified and added via the “add nearby” function.
All of the above-mentioned changes were developed by Snapchat. There are however also a number of external sites and apps that have been working to make searching for contacts much easier. One such example of this is Snapgeist. Launched in Germany, Snapgeist collects and catalogues different Snapchat profiles. Users can search for contacts according to a number of different categories including media, politics, lifestyle and sports.
Conclusion: Snapchat is evolving from an app used to communicate with existing friends to an app used by businesses, celebrities and media to communicate with a broader audience. One important step in this process has been the improvement in account visibility. Both Snapchat and external websites are making it easier for people to find those they want to follow. At present, some of the new features still rely heavily on other media channels for further promotion, meaning a strong presence on these channels is also important. If using Snapchat for your business, making use of these new functions could be key to ensuring you’re not left standing alone at the party.