Snapchat Opens Up to the Web with its Latest Feature, Paperclip

July 11th, 2017 by | No Comments

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Since its launch, popular messaging service Snapchat has been closed off to the web, only accessible through its iOS and Android apps. This stands in contrast to its biggest competitor, Instagram, which has since upgraded its mobile web app to allow users to post content.

While Instagram has long opened up to the web, Snapchat has refused to follow suit. Until now. This week, Snapchat launched its latest feature, Paperclip, which allows users to add external links to the snaps they post. While considered a simple feature by most users, Paperclip could be one of the most important for marketers who actively use Snapchat in their campaigns. Aside from making it easier for marketers to gain organic traffic, media companies can now finally use the feature as part of their direct response campaign and lead their followers to their respective websites.

While the reasons behind Snapchat’s development of Paperclip is unclear, it’s easy to assume that this change of direction is a response to Instagram’s controversial copycat strategy. Eight months after the launch of Instagram Stories, the Facebook-owned platform surpassed Snapchat Stories in popularity. With greater reach and a bigger audience, it’s been reported that users have upped their use of Instagram and decreased their use of Snapchat.

However, even though Instagram has embraced the web more than Snapchat, the former still doesn’t allow users to add links to their posts, except for those with over 10,000 followers. Given that Paperclip is available to all users and all posts, this is one area where Snapchat has a leg up on rival Instagram, at least for the time being.

So will Snapchat stop here or concede and open up its closed system even further? Can marketers expect Snapchat to make more of its content available through the web like Instagram? Whatever happens, it appears that both apps are creating new opportunities for marketers to interact with more users and drive engagement outside of their platforms.

About the author:
Jehan S. Ismael is a full-time writer and an editor for a leading digital marketing firm. She has a love-hate relationship with food, likes listening to rock and rap music, and enjoys reading books by self-absorbed writers like J.D. Salinger and Anthony Bourdain.

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