Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, is quickly moving towards its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) this year. Because the IPO is impending, a lot of people are curious as to what moves the Venice, CA-based tech company is going to be making in 2017.
People are curious as to what the next moves of Snap Inc. are because, when Snap becomes public, they will have a new expectation of revenue growth and company transparency.
The FilterPop team decided to take some time to predict what we anticipate Snap doing in 2017. Ultimately, we anticipate a lot of meaningful changes as Snapchat morphs into a full-on tech giant.
Below are some of the things that you can likely expect from Snap in 2017.
1. More Accessories.
Snap’s Spectacles video-recording sunglasses were a surprise hit at the end of 2017. They’ve promised more devices will become available soon, and recently announced a new R&D facility being formed in China (where Snapchat is banned). As Snap explores monetization avenues, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw them release accessories such as selfie sticks, phone holders, and similar. Snapchat has an immensely popular brand and they can definitely come up with some accessories that leverage this strength, while remaining focused on their core offerings.
Besides little gimmicky items like phone cases, we can expect more technologically sophisticated devices. It wouldn’t be surprising if we saw some tools that make Snapchat more accessible to use when there isn’t a strong cellular or WiFi connect nearby.
2. Subscription Offerings.
Snapchat is becoming the go-to entertainment portal for young people. With this in mind, it only seems natural that Snapchat would introduce premium subscription offerings. However, having premium content inside of the current Snapchat app feels like it might not go over well with users. Snapchat could do something such as pull the Discover feature out of the main app and make it into a separate app. The separate Discover app would be an entertainment portal with both free and premium content.
3. Event Integrations.
Snapchat is currently about sharing a moment in the past. It would make a lot of sense for Snapchat to introduce features that help people plan what they’re doing together in the future. This means seeing upcoming sport events, movie times, and more– directly inside of the Snapchat app. Snapchat offering tools to plan hanging out with friends efficiently would be a smart movie.
Event integration could also be a creative way to help Snapcash pick up more steam and take on Venmo. It would be a good competitive move here because, if you’re planning your events with friends in Snapchat, it makes sense to be able to split the bill and costs up in the same place.
4. A Snapchat Platform.
Facebook became a true tech giant when they launched a platform. The Facebook platform gave other companies the ability to develop apps that interacted with them. This lead to the Facebook logo being plastered everyone on the Web. It’s what sprouted companies such as Tinder, Spotify, and Zynga.
By creating a platform, third-party services would be able to use Snapchat credentials to login/signup for other apps and use Snapchat data.
There’s actually a small hint of this coming with Bitmoji. You currently log into Bitmoji using Snapchat credentials.
Right now, Snapchat doesn’t offer a very personalized experience. Every Snapchat user essentially gets the exact same experience in Snapchat. You simple see posts from your friends and family in a specific order, along with posts created by content companies.
To increase the amount of ads that Snapchat users see, Snap will need to start displaying the posts that a user most likely wants to see first. By prioritizing posts and content, this will capture users more rapidly, leading them to a longer time in the app.
Snapchat doesn’t have any real engagement efforts at the moment besides something that they call a “streak” score. A streak score encourages users to try to talk to the same friends on a daily basis so that you don’t break your chat streak.
Turning Snap into a Business.
While Snapchat appears to already be a somewhat healthy business, they’re going to have a lot more pressure to discover growth when they become a public company later this year. We can expect features that help the app generate more revenue per user, but it also appears that Snap will be extra sensitive regarding the amount of ads that a user sees. It will be interesting to see what new features and changes Snap makes in 2017.