A New Snapchat Feature to Help Stimulate Conversation

A 6 Hour Design Sprint—For Fun!

(This project was focused on private chat engagement—not the camera, or stories)


Snapchat‘s future has been up for debate the past year as Instagram implements more and more features inspired by Snapchat’s platform such as stories. That being said, this is a time for Snapchat to reconnect with their roots—a multi-media communication platform for you and your close friends (something Instagram is not).

“Snapchat is not about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.” —Evan Spiegal, Snapchat CEO

Snapchat Wants You to Send More Snaps

For the past few years Snapchat has been implementing more and more features with hopes of encouraging their users to send more snaps and increase daily or even hourly engagement. Most of these new features utilize social driven data, gamify it, and make it visible to their users.

For example, in 2015, Snapchat released an update which allowed users to see who on their friends list “NEEDS LOVE.” This status was determined by who on your friends list hand’t received snaps from you in a long period of time. This is one feature among many others that Snapchat has implemented hoping to incentives their users to send snaps to friends.

In Summary—Snapchat hopes that giving you more knowledge about your relationships with your friends will help make it easier for you communicate with them.

The Real Problem: Sometime We just Don’t Know What to Say…

You see, although this type social information is very meaningful, it doesn’t lead directly to people communicating more with each other. When you step back from Snapchat and look at other messaging platforms—you can see that there is a common problem among all messaging platforms—Sometimes we just don’t know what to send…

Telling me who “Needs Love” doesn’t help me construct a message / or start a conversation with them

A Paradigm Shift in Communication

Other messaging platforms such as Google Gmail/Inbox, Linkedin, and others are trying to solve this problem by beginning to implement “smart messaging” to their platform.

These ‘smart messaging’ features offers users recommended responses based off of the context of the message that was sent to them. For example, if someone asks you to meet with them on Sunday—a ‘smart reply’ will offer you an recommended response that says “Yes, Let’s meet on Sunday” or “No, I’m sorry, I’m busy that day.” The point is—These data driven messaging recommendations help users keep their conversation moving and don’t burden the them with the cognitive overload of “what should I say?”

What if Snapchat used their existing social data to influence recommended conversation starters between friends?

Snap Taps: A Data Driven Conversation Starter

I have designed a concept for a new feature called ‘Snap Taps.” Its purpose is to help augment the potential to send snaps between you and your old friends utilizing snapchat’s existing social data.

How It Works

Snap Taps will utilize the social data of your Snapchat friends and help recommend potential messages to send them to get the conversations going. All you have to do is tap which chat appeals to you most.

Let’s give a few examples.

  • Previously mentioned, Snapchat knows which of your friends you have lost touch with. This is a prime opportunity for Snap Taps to recommend messages with the context of needing to reconnect with them.
  • Snap Map allow Snapchat to know and share where your friends are located in the world around you. This is a prime opportunity for Snap Taps to recommend messages based off of location.
  • Snapchat Stories is another place where you might see a friend post that you aren’t currently communicating with. This is a prime opportunity for Snap Taps to recommend messages based of public posting.

Next Steps

This project was a personal design sprint lasting only 6 hours. I wish to validate this concept through further user research around how conversations are started and maintained for this demographic of users.

Please let me know what you think in the comment below about this suggestion. I look forward to talking to you there! :)