3 Ways Snapchat Has Completely Reinvented TV

The celebrities of tomorrow are not going to be the people you see on TV and that everybody knows. They are going to be content creators, comedians, and storytellers on mediums like Snapchat.

They are going to have dedicated followings in ever more specific niches.

Snapchat has created the model for the future of TV and entertainment.

A Brief History of TV: Scarcity to Ubiquity

Let’s take a look back at history. When TV first came out, there was scarcity built into the model. If you didn’t tune in at the right day and time, you missed it. Gone forever.

This created demand and strong interest from viewers. I remember as a child how we waited excitedly each year for that one time each holiday season when How the Grinch Stole Christmas was aired on TV. It became a family event and expectation. If we missed it, we wouldn’t see it for an entire year.

As a Trekkie, Star Trek: The Next Generation worked its magic in the form of nail-biting cliffhangers. From the season ending in the spring to the story picking back up again in the fall, I would wait impatiently all summer for the conclusion of the story.

Change #1: Snapchat Reintroduces Scarcity

In today’s world of permanent content in the form of DVDs or on-demand streaming, this scarcity was lost, but it’s making a comeback. Snapchat has reintroduced scarcity into the entertainment model.

On SnapChat, stories disappear after 24 hours, never to be seen again. Maybe it’s an amazing #HumpDayHack from @ChrisMonachino or musings on the future of work by @DavidHolzmer. Maybe it’s invaluable business advice from @garyvee or a great social media tip from yours truly @NBJaworski :). Whatever the case may be, if you missed it, it’s gone.

You’ll never see it on DVD or Netflix. The necessity to tune in has returned to our media.

There are 2 other key features of Snapchat as a medium that has completely changed the game as well.

Change #2: It’s Created Ever More Specific Niches

TV was already moving towards this trend with a Home & Garden Channel, Travel Channel, Reality TV Channel, etc. Snapchat has opened the door for this to go to extremes.

Are you interested in quirky, adventure-based cooking tips? Check out @Hartoooo. Are you really interested in what family life is like from a mom’s perspective in Kuwait? Then there’s @Ascia_AKF. Maybe you want tips on how to create new iOS applications (@rustywicket) or what it’s like to work inside a company like Cisco Systems (@WeAreCisco) that you’re thinking about working for.

There are specific Snapchatters and channels for all of these and anything else you can think of. Whatever you are specifically interested in, you can find it.

That is the power of niche topics and small communities. There is a tremendous shift away from mass appeal and mass marketing. Now, it’s all about finding relevant communities and producing content for them.

The kings and queens of these communities are the ones who provide great content. The beauty of Snapchat is that all you need is a phone, no fancy production, editing, money, or tools.

There’s one more piece that makes Snapchat a model for the future of media.

Change #3: Snapchat is Interactive

You will never meet Tom Cruise. Kim Kardashian is not going to send you an email. But Snapchat is different. Snapchat communities are formed around content creators who interact. If I watch a Snap Story, I can comment on it, offer my take, or share something of my own.

What’s more, it’s more than likely that the Snapchatter will answer me back. They may even take my comment, tip, or contribution and add it to their story!

We can now interact with, share, and learn from the creators and storytellers most valuable to us and we can do it instantaneously.

The Game Has Changed Forever for Viewers, Marketers, and Businesses

Now anybody can be a celebrity in a relevant community or niche as long as they produce valuable content.

Marketers can no longer rely on mass communications blasted out to huge audiences. Nobody’s watching.

If I’m interested in tips for building a Twitter following in Indianapolis, you can be I’m not watching the local news or a national TV channel. I’m looking for a Snapchatter that’s going to share the specific advice relevant to me.

Marketing has become all about finding the right communities, partnering with influencers in it, and providing solutions or meeting desires of the members of that community.

Businesses now must do the same. The return-on-investment (ROI) of traditional media is falling. With traditional media, I have no idea who I’m reaching or what they’re interested in.

With social media in general, I know exactly who I’m reaching and exactly who’s engaging. With Snapchat, I know exactly what people are interested in. I can easily learn how many people watched and how many people interacted.

This is the future of the medium my friends. Competitors and other models will continue to arise as the social media space is expanded and disrupted. But Snapchat has opened the door for a return to scarcity, the rise of niche markets, and the establishment of interactivity as a necessity in media. Are you ready?

Want to stay connected and learn more about the future of social media and how you can use it to grow your own business. Why not think about signing up for my Drive Business Builders Newsletter? I promise, it won’t hurt (well, maybe just a little).

Nick Jaworski is the Owner and Chief Digital Community Builder for Circle Social Inc., a Strategic Social Media Marketing & Web Development Agency in Indianapolis. He writes on the future trends and shifting landscape of our digital world. He is also devoted father of a beautiful little girl that speaks Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, and English. Twitter & Snapchat: @NBJaworski

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