2015: the year branded content will disappear.

On Tuesday January 27th 2015, Snapchat released a new feature, ‘Discover’, giving brands the opportunity to create editorialised Snapchats. Targeted at a generation increasingly seeking ephemeral media, is this the beginning of a new age of fleeting branded content?

Brands including CNN, MTV, Vice & National Geographic are amongst the first to have signed up to the service.

In an inconspicious blog released on its website this week, messaging app Snapchat, a company not yet five years old, announced a new feature that looks set to disrupt the branded content industry this year.

“What’s news today is history tomorrow.” — Snapchat Team

Publicly available to all Snapchat users from today, the feature, ‘Discover’, will allow brands the chance to interact with consumers in an entirely new format. Indeed, “…this is not social media…[but]…a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.”

VICE appears to be using the app’s new feature to widen it’s current demographic, many of which are currently in their late twenties & early thirties.

An innovative twist on the daily newspaper format, brands’ offerings on the app will be refreshed each day to ensure “each channel brings you something unique — a wonderful daily surprise.” For a generation who have grown up surrounded by re-used & re-hashed content , it’s certainly not hard to see the appeal.

The strongest indicator, however, of the potential influence of ‘Discover’ is in it’s almost instant take-up by a number of the most influential content producers in the world (National Geographic, VICE & MTV amongst others) each of whom are trialling the service, using it to showcase everything from news reports to wildlife shows to Snapchat’s 100m monthly active users.

It is too early to say for definite whether or not ‘Discover’ will take off in 2015 but with a growing user-base dominated almost entirely (71%) by the valuable ‘under 25' demographic and a total of around 400m Snapchat’s sent daily, it’s hard to imagine that this is the last we’ve seen of ephemeral advertising.


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