Snapchat is adding another way to boost appeal to platform influencers, this time by giving prominent creators the option to create their own sticker packs available within the app.
As you can see here, Snapchat creator Harry Hambley, through his creation ‘Ketnipz’, is among the first users to be given access to the new custom Snap stickers option. According to Digiday, other creators who will be releasing their own sticker packs soon will be Cyrene Quiamco, Audrey Spencer and Mike Metzler.
To access to custom stickers, users will be able to tap the ‘star’ icon in the stickers section of the app – in the example below, you can see a custom sticker pack at the top created by user Geir Ove Pederson (@Geeohsnap).
The option is the latest in Snapchat’s renewed push to build connections with influencers, which comes after years of the app refusing to treat prominent creators any different to regular users.
Indeed, that’s been Snap’s exact stance for some time – in a New York Times report back in 2016, Snapchat noted that it preferred both celebrities and influencers to use the app “like everyday people”, because Snapchat is where people go to interact with friends, in contrast to the flood of marketing messages that had become prominent in other social apps.
But more recently – specifically, since Snap Inc. went public – the company has worked to add in more tools for prominent users in order to keep them from drifting over to Instagram. As part of this, Snap has given selected creators access to in-depth audience analytics, while just last week, it launched a new program which will pair brands with influencers to help businesses create more resonant campaigns.
In essence, Snap seems to have realized that it needs these creators in order to maintain its audience. The ideal of having an app where all users are equal is great, but the reality is that these high-profile audiences have their own, significant followings - fans who'll switch across with them if they opt to leave.
And Snap, which reports its Q2 results next week, needs all the help it can get to maintain and grow its audience. The platform, which currently has 191 million daily active users, has seen a significant slowdown in its growth momentum, thought to be largely influenced by the rise of Instagram Stories.
Given this, it makes sense for Snap to develop stronger ties with creators. The question, however, is whether Snap has left its efforts too late, with the focus now transferred to competing networks.