What Snapchat Vanity URLs mean for Influencers

An interesting thing happens when a new social media platform arrives. There is a wave of first-generation users who feel their early adoption conveys their mastery of the platform, thereby granting them “influencer” status thereon after. Then more people arrive, saturate the platform, and that first wave washes away for a new generation.

Right now I’m seeing Snapchat, everyone’s favorite “NEW” social media app, experience this. The first generation of users is comfortable and feels their relatively substantial following on the platform demonstrates their indefinite influence; people showing up later ought to take their advice on best usage.

Now Snapchat has rolled out its first rendition of vanity URLs and things are about to get sticky. Vanity URLs as demonstrated here allow for users anywhere on the web to easily click, have Snapchat open, and have your username added as a friend. All the first-gen-ers are excited about this. They shouldn’t be.

With any social media platform, there is always a lack of discovery in the beginning. The best example of this was when Vine was first created, and there was a massive problem in finding new content and new creators. Then the web version became available and the entire influencer graph changed, flushing out hundreds of “influencers” who were constantly at the top. Not anymore.

Lack of discovery means scarcity. Scarcity means influence.

Increased feasibility of finding creators means saturation.

Saturation drains influence.

It’s simple economics and game theory, but it’s surprising how easy it is for content creators and influencers to get caught up in the exciting new ways to foster growth on a platform. They should realize that simply the means of doing so negates the influence they’ve already achieved.

Taylor.Nikolai

I’d love for you to add me on Snapchat