Social Scanner: Snapchat’s pitch to marketers

Plus, Foursquare rebrands as a city guide and YouTubers go brick-and-mortar

Screen shot 2014-08-07 at 11.26.48 AMSnapchat has yet to introduce an ad unit, but that hasn’t stopped the social app from selling itself to brands.

This week Snapchat’s business deck leaked, revealing the way the company wants to be seen in the eyes of marketers. Among the topline stats: more than 700 million snaps are viewed a day. That’s a huge number, proving that Snapchat is more than a passing fad. It also shows that Snapchat has managed to maintain its position as the dominant ephemeral messaging app, despite attempts from bigger companies like Facebook to jump on the trend.

Though Snapchat has always been associated with millenials, the deck solidifies its status as one of the youngest social networks around, with 81% of users under 25. Overall, half of the app’s users are 13-17, making it a huge opportunity for marketers targeting young consumers.

The document also provides marketers inspiration for using the platform from skilled brands who snap, such as MTV, HBO and McDonald’s. In one example, HBO shares snaps from the red carpet premiere of Girls. The photos and videos shared by the network were then curated into a “story,” a relatively new feature that let’s users save a number of snaps together for up to 24 hours.

Snapchat showcased the story with another example from Grub Hub, which used snaps in succession in a story to reveal a promo code given to consumers who follow it on the platform.

The deck is a likely sign that Snapchat is moving to an ad-supported model. The leak follows news late last month that China’s Alibaba Group Holding is in talks to buy Snapchat for upwards of $10 billion (previously, Snapchat turned down a reported $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook).

If Snapchat is to prove itself worthy of that kind of cash, it’s going to need to show revenue growth, and advertising is the most likely source of cash for the app.

Why you should pay attention to WeChat

China’s WeChat is an all-in-one approach to social media. The platform lets users do almost anything. It can be used for text, video and voice messages, as well as online shopping, gaming – even investing. Given its massive size, it’s no surprise the 400-million user network has also attracted the attention of marketers, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Pepsi and Burberry.

The platform is a must-have part of any marketing plan targeting Chinese consumers, but it’s also a network to watch for Western brands. Given WeChat’s success, the all-encompassing functionality is a likely path for Facebook and others looking to take up more of consumers time.

Foursquare is now a city guide

Five years after launching, Foursquare has reinvented itself as a city guide. The social app’s latest update does away with the check-in it’s known for, shifting that function to a spin off app called Swarm, created for the die-hard users who still want to announce their location to the social world.

The new Foursquare is still focused on location, but it’s now more of a recommendation engine, suggesting restaurants and bars nearby based on a consumers’ tastes.

These changes aren’t limited to functionality, either. Foursquare has a totally new look. Along with the update comes a fresh brand identity with a new red logo in place of the old white one.

Korean YouTubers go brick and mortar

Two popular Korean YouTube channels have teamed up to open a cafeEat Your Kimchi, a channel run by two Canadian expats, and the language education channel Talk To Me In Korean just opened the You Are Here cafe in Seoul. The cafe is an embodiment of the two channels, with travel tips for newcomers (Eat Your Kimchi) and a classroom (Talk To Me In Korean). Unlike the pop-up shops we’ve seen from webby brands, You Are Here will be a permanent space.

From Marketing

• Shaw’s new network is anchored by the Canadian YouTube institution Epic Meal Time
• Jack Astor’s brought the Kickstarter ‘Potato Salad Guy’ to Canada 

The Numbers

Last summer Sharknado exploded all over the internet, transforming the film from b-grade cable fare to mainstream meme. It was easy to view the shark tornado phenomenon as lightning striking – a joke told once, but never again. SyFy proved naysayers wrong last week with Sharknado 2, topping Nielsen’s weekly Twitter TV ratings. Here’s a look at how the film fared.

581,000

Tweets Sharknado garnered within 24 hours of airing

5,500,000

Consumers who saw tweets about Sharknado within 24 hours of airing

3,900,000

People who watched the broadcast

67,220,000

Impressions generated about Sharknado on Twitter

188,000

Consumers who tweeted about Sharknado

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