For all you social media fanatics, it’s time to face the hard truth: in light of new, more interactive, entertaining social media apps, older platforms such as Twitter are becoming outdated. A recent article in The Boston Globe talks about how Twitter is acknowledging its slowing user growth and working to improve user friendliness for those who are uncertain of how they can use Twitter’s influence to their benefit. In today’s world of PR, agencies continue to turn to social media apps like Twitter to increase awareness and visibility for a client’s product and brand messaging, but PR pros are also asking the question, what new social media applications will provide them with the most success reaching an audience whose communication methods are constantly changing?
In 2015 Snapchat introduced its “Discover” feature, which the company describes as a way of virtually exploring “Stories” through different editorial teams, “a result of the collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first”. The “Discover” feature’s user-friendly full screen photos and videos, long form layouts, and engaging, simulated advertising seem to correspond with the public’s desire for a virtual social media experience. What is particularly interesting is the correlation between the take-off of Snapchat and the apparent decline in Twitter users.
“Discover’s” mission to give each of its users a straightforward, “wonderful daily surprise” has become a mode of communication for outlets like BuzzFeed, Mashable, ESPN, CNN, and Food Network. At CNN, editors and producers select five stories a day to be featured on “Discover”. “There’s a huge opportunity for us to reach new, younger audiences on Snapchat,” said Samantha Barry, Head of Social News for CNN. Additionally, Tammy Franklin, Senior Vice President for Scripps Networks Interactive, which owns the Food Network, sees the Snapchat platform as an opportunity for users to “think about and our lifestyle brands more and engage with our brands now, allowing us to create those relationships for the long term.”
In a world where apps like Snapchat and Instagram are taking over the social media scene with their visual-rich appeal, many complain that older social media sites are not fulfilling aesthetic needs. Just as people flip through magazines and read the articles with bright, bold pictures, people flip through their Twitter feeds until something catches their eye. Snapchat’s “Discover” feature is quickly becoming the “it” platform for businesses to produce and share aesthetically pleasing media to the masses.
Ultimately, the features that have made older social media platforms distinct in the past have been updated, modified and improved upon by other popular apps. Because of the powerful “network effect” that quickly moves throughout the general public, businesses need to identify and utilize the latest app technology to continue communicating with followers as the previous “it” social media sensation quickly falls out of favor.