Snapchat takes a leap to keep up with Facebook and Instagram by acquiring Vurb for roughly 110 million- Time to put Snapchat back on the marketing radar.
Since the launch of Instagram Stories there has been questions around how Snapchat will survive with Facebook trying to strong-arm them out. This left the question “What will Snapchat do?” Instagram has a larger database and many more functionality’s- specifically around search and advertising. Nothing suggest Snapchat’s user base will abandon ship, however with Instagram offering the same tools (and more) it leaves the question. At the writing of this the only complaint is the slower loading of stories with Instagram, but most feedback is praise.
An area Snapchat is likely looking into as it grasps to keep hold of its users is search. Vurb is quoted as considering themselves “the only search app that gives you suggestions and results tailored to what you love- and keeps you updated on trending topics you care about.”
“We let you easily find, save, and do the best things by connecting community recommendations, rich content, and useful services — personalized for you in one simple app.”
With this functionality it would be a perfect pair with Snapchat that would allow you to use Vurb’s database of things to see and places to visit. Vurb Cards, their offering which provides a location and review information that allows users to take action within the card such as booking reservations or tickets could be geo-loaded into snaps to allow your friends/followers to do the same making it a powerful marketing tool. See below illustration.
Vurb Decks’ where users can collect their own listings of the best places to go and things to see as seen below:
An ideal fit for Snapchat would be to use this feature to allow their users to find more personalized recommendations for places to go, adding snap context or for app enhancement feedback. I.e. users could search for restaurants to visit in Atlanta and this would pull recommendations from Vurb and your Snapchat followers that are recommended.
Vurb also heavily uses trending news.
“Vurb’s ‘Today’ tab keeps you in the know with a daily update of what’s trending around the web, around the world, and near you. Get news, recommendations of things to do, and more – tailored for you.”
An ideal fit for Snapchat would be to use this function to build a search engine to find more users/followers tailored to their behavior and interest.
The last match that seems to align with the two is the chat feature Vurb currently uses, where users recommend places to go- all with directions and reviews within the same window.
With Snapchat’s recently overhaul of their messaging platform, the Vurb addition could enhance their messaging platform to a completely new level allowing them to level the playing field with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Snapchat could now integrate paid ads and reviews in their listings, giving businesses a chance to appear ranked at a higher relevant option or enhance ad targeting with geo-located services –i.e. someone takes a Snap within a certain radius of a business, they’d be more likely to see a recommendation for that business.
It’s obviously too early to predict how Snapchat will handle this, but the app moving into search and discovery, particularly as this has long been one of the elements that Snapchat has actively ignored in favor of exclusivity, but now must play ball on as the threat of Facebook taking over has had them forced to consider options to compete.