New York-based frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles may be the first brand to host a promotion on Snapchat, the picture based messaging service that has been taking the social world by storm.
While primarily considered a messaging platform because of its ties to cell numbers, one of the key features of the app is its limited window of visibility for messages.
You have up to 10 seconds to view a message before it is deleted, which could be a perfect duration for a limited time promotion, as 16 Handles is trying.
The brand created an account “Love16Handles” and is encouraging users to participate by visiting select locations at certain times and snapping photos of their friends enjoying the frozen yogurt.
— 16 Handles (@16Handles) January 1, 2013
Once they snap, they’ll receive a special coupon code for 16% off, 50% off, or 100% off which they then have just 10 seconds to show the cashier.
Earlier this week, Poke, Facebook’s Snapchat clone, made headlines as Delta, a lingerie company in Israel, also used this limited time messaging to show some risqué advertisements, though they ran into a number of technical issues in execution.
Instead of pushing an advertisement to their fans, 16 Handles is encouraging their community to message them when they’re actually at the store, a big difference in effort for consumer and brand.
“I’ve always been taught to ‘go where your customers are.'” said Adam Britten, Community Manager at 16 Handles. “I noticed a lot of our customers sharing their Snapchat usernames, and I thought the platform was a natural fit for our brand and our target social market.”
Snapchat viability as an advertising platform is uncertain right now, as many other people have pointed out online, it is more about a direct one-to-one communication experience and less about aspiration.
What do you think the future of Snapchat looks like? Do you see a possibility for more brands to advertise on the site?