Snap Is Getting Desperate

Between its sagging stock price, slowing growth, and fierce competition from Facebook, Snap needs some big wins. Perhaps moving in the right direction, the “camera company” just announced a two-year content-development deal with Time Warner.

Yet analysts say the tie-up is less about awesome content for Snap, and more about TV networks trying to keep up with increasingly scattered audiences.

“The bigger story is actually about the fragmentation of traditional programming across all digital delivery mechanisms,” says Forrester's Jessica Liu. That, “and how TV networks are trying to piece those fragments together to achieve scale.” 

Sure, networks can help Snap boost its bottom line. The Time Warner pact alone is reportedly worth about $100 million.

But, polished programming isn't what made Snap great. The secret to its success has always rested on tools that make social engagement simple, fun, and arguably addictive.

It should be no surprise, then, that Snap just unveiled an opt-in Map feature with which users can track their friends’ whereabouts in real-time.

On their smartphone screens, users can now virtually scan their physical surroundings, and see where friends are posting snaps and stories.

Around the world, the new feature will let users see where large groups are gathering based on information people choose to share publicly. “Heat” colors will illustrate large, active groups in particular geographic areas.

Snap Map should also give publishers and marketers more ways to engage audiences on the platform, which likely spells more money-making opportunities for Snap.

To that end, it's now easier to guess why Snap recently bought Placed -- a location intelligence and ad-to-store attribution firm.

As an independent upstart, Placed says it was able to measure more than $500 million in media spend to store visits over the past year.

Adding Placed and Map data to the mix could lead to some very interesting opportunities for Snap's business partners.

Of course, that all depends on whether users find Snap Map simple, fun, and addictive.

1 comment about "Snap Is Getting Desperate".
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  1. PJ Lehrer from NYU, June 23, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.

    I'm sensing a fad that has run its course.  My students were less than enthused.  More here...

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