Snapchat Makes Snap Map Available on the Web, with Options to Embed Stories Content
After announcing that users would be able to embed selected Snapchat content outside the app last month, Snap Inc. has now released the latest tool in their efforts to raise awareness of Snap content.
Now, you can view their Snap Map on the web, with a new version which enables users to see all publicly posted Snapchat Stories, and embed them right from the tool.
The web-based Snap Map includes all the main features of the in-app version – you can zoom out to see the major Snap hot spots and events, and scroll to see what’s happening in across the world.
Click on the search panel in the top left and you’re not only able to search by location or keyword, but there’s also a listing of ‘Featured Stories’, and top Stories based on the location you’re currently viewing on the map.
Click into any of the events or locations and you’ll be able to see the related Snaps – but importantly, none of the Snaps shown display the screen names of those who’ve created them. That may reduce the value of public posting for creators (users are able to contribute to the map by opting to share their snap to “Our Story”), but it also provides a level of anonymity for those contributing, sticking to Snapchat’s more secretive values.
As you can see in the second frame above, you can also embed this content direct from the web – which will show up in your story like this:
As with Snapchat’s other embed options, the limitation is that Snaps will still disappear. Embedded Stories will stick around for 30 days – after that, there’ll be a message where your embed once was noting that the content is no longer available. That’s not great for publishers looking to add context to their story, but still, there’s definite value there for news events and related content.
There would also be a question here as to whether publishers can – or should be able to – use screenshots of said Snaps for posterity. It would be quite easy to screenshot frames from the Story and add them in, which would enable you to keep the context for posterity, but that also seems to go against the ethos of both Snapchat and the embed function.
And really, that’s not the key idea here. While you might be able to keep static images, the appeal lies in the ability to utilize the increasingly popular Stories format to add context to your material. Indeed, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noted that he sees the Stories format becoming the most popular social sharing option, overtaking the News Feed in the near future. Snap Stories, from the app’s 187 million daily users, can play a big part in that, which will help provide immediate, compelling material for relevant posts, while also, for Snap, showcasing what the app has to offer – and ideally, getting more people to download the app itself.
That’s the key driver here – as noted by Wired, Snapchat’s efforts to showcase Snapchat content outside the app itself are being driven by Rahul Chopra, the former CEO of Storyful, an agency which licenses viral videos and other content online. Chopra’s mission is to showcase Snap content and provide new ways help more people see what Snap has to offer. And Snapchat does provide a compelling content option – the capacity to better showcase Snaps could be the app’s best advertising tool to date. Sure, time-limed embeds are not ideal, but when a major event comes up, you can bet news agencies will be seeking out any on-the-ground content they can, and Snap’s embed option – which notably updates as the story evolves – could become a key resource on this front.
For brands, the option could also provide new ways to showcase events and related content.
You’re able to embed Snap Map stories in three different formats: individual stories (as I've done above), a collection from a location or event, or stories in a specific geographic area. If you were looking to provide an on-the-ground perspective of your event, it might be worth trying out the location/event option, or using a relevant influencer via the individual Stories option. That could also lead to more brands encouraging Snap use during an event in order to add more content to the relevant Story.
There’s a lot of experimentation to be had – and no doubt refinement to come from Snapchat – but it’s an interesting option, worth considering in future initiatives.
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