‘People use Snapchat to be real, and they expect brands to do the same’ | M&M Global

‘People use Snapchat to be real, and they expect brands to do the same’

Snap’s UK general manager Claire Valoti (pictured) took questions from Cosmopolitan editor Farrah Storr on the subject of whether running the current teen app craze had made her live up to her husband’s ironic nickname of ‘Cool Claire’.

AWE Claire Valoti

Despite only working for the company for just over a year, she said in the tech world that made her an “old timer”. In fact, the company is so current that it measures itself by its 10 million daily active users in the UK, of which 60% create daily content.

“That’s the only figure we talk about,” she commented. “We’re talking about a smartphone world and if someone’s not coming back every day, they’re not really an engaged user.”

Valoti defined the business as a “camera company” because she said users “go into a mind-set of creation not consumption” and just happen to use images to do that, with the camera as the starting point to enable the storytelling experience.

When asked about her office environment, she said that, contrary to the popular image of Millennials running around, there is a good balance of ages. “You need a blend of people,” she added. “I feel very proud of the energy in our office”.

Valoti said she was unconcerned about older people moving to the platform, referring to it as the “real friends’ network” where you can “just be yourself” and share an unvarnished, authentic personality, with users unable to see who their friends are connected to.

She recommended that brands apply this mentality when working with the platform, encouraging them to behave like the audience. “People use Snapchat to be their real selves, they expect brands to do the same,” she added, praising to 20th Century Fox’s promotion of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as an outstanding example.

Discussing the Discover platform, she complimented “heritage brand” Cosmopolitan on its partnership, which Storr compared to working with a content editor who better understood the audience’s tastes.

Storr also described the platform as a “virtuous circle” with younger readers discovering her publication via Snapchat which led them to purchase a hard copy of the magazine.

She also compared the experience of browsing Snapchat Discover to traditional media consumption, and flicking through a magazine when “you’re not searching for anything in particular”.

The pair agreed they were “writing the playbook for mobile storytelling”, with Cosmopolitan still investing and going on a journey with Snap. “You are the experts in terms of content,” added Valoti. “You’re not handing content over to us, you’ve got complete editorial control.”

Anna Dobbie


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