Apparently search has become an underlying focus for Snapchat. Cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel, in his opening remarks during the Q2 2017 earnings call, mentioned the feature several times. When asked by an analyst to elaborate on search within Snapchat, Spiegel said it's still early days with search on the platform as people learn they can search for stories and not just friends. He also noted that there are great opportunities to explore.
"The pre-type experience that we've [added] when you tap into search is a really important part of the learning process and I think we're getting better at showing really interesting content depending on who you are," Spiegel said.
Snapchat introduced Universal Search in January to simplify navigation within the app. The feature amounts to a search bar to help brands build an audience and quickly allow users to find the best content and conversations related to their specific preferences.
The company also has begun to focus on connecting and measuring the effectiveness of its online advertising with offline sales. It created an offline sales measurement systems with the acquisition of Placed in June. With Placed, the company's goal is to measure activities such as store visits and offline purchases which prove that digital ads drive sales for advertisers.
As search becomes a visual medium with trillions of photos, it has become more important for social platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest to improve their respective search tools.
The ability to search for content within Snapchat could dramatically improve options for brands. Google reportedly will prove that theory with a tool it calls Stamp.
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on Google's development of an AMP-powered Snapchat-like "discovery tool" called Stamp, but we have yet to hear directly from the Mountain View, California, company as to whether the report will become a reality.
One of the main features, per reports, would be that it ties into Google's search engine, giving publishers a built-in audience for Stamp stories. The Stamp versions of stories would serve in Google search results, or within other Google products.
Jason Beckerman, CEO and cofounder at Unified, which focuses on social advertising, says the only way for Google to increase market share from Facebook is to add social features that include video and images to the feed, much more than what YouTube can offer.
Beckerman, musing, points to Snapchat's video ads served between social snapshots from users. "The ability to buy inventory within the feed is very attractive to brands," he said.
Google Plus, Beckerman said, tried to make a social network all about connecting with friends, but Stamp would look a lot more like Snapchat. Google's advantage, they would likely bring all their services into one bucket, from Allo, the messaging app, to Search, Assistant and Gmail.
Snapchat reported that second-quarter 2017 advertising revenue rose 146% year-over-year and 25% quarter-over-quarter. The community grew to an average of 173 million daily active users. The company attributed the growth primarily to the 40% of ads coming from U.S. and Canadian brands.