Snapchat is not just 5-second sunsets and selfies anymore: the new Discover feature showcases quality, snackable content from reputable publishers, including CNN, Vice and National Geographic, on a daily basis.

Upon clicking into each publisher, users are delivered the most up-to-date photo and video content from around the world. Best of all, they can click-through to read or watch long-form layouts of the stories.

Essentially, “Discover” is an always-on channel, refreshed daily, serving up relevant content alongside brand advertisements.


Why this matters:

Snapchat has been able to pull together the key themes that have been on every marketing and media exec’s mind – video content, real-time news, news desk – to create a platform that incorporates all of them and is executed with simplicity and style.

In terms of advertising, Discover integrates brands further into the content than what is currently possible on Facebook and Twitter news feeds. Snapchat Discover debuts a new advertising model that is likely to be a significant source of revenue.


What this means for brands:

1. More visibility: Snapchat Discover is featured prominently within the application and ensures a Discover sponsorship generates more visibility than a brand’s Snapchat account.

2. Wider audience: the collaboration with publishers, such as Vice, Yahoo! News and CNN, extends Snapchat’s influence beyond their core millennial audience. This means Discover advertisers will reach a larger and more diverse audience.

3. Purpose-driven content marketing: brands can now be involved with Snapchat in a more useful, native and contextually relevant way.

4. Pay-to-play: the trend of social media becoming more intertwined with paid media continues. Brands will need to commit media spend to reap these additional benefits.

5. Brands as publishers: consumers continue to demand high quality content so the need for brands to act as publishers hasn’t disappeared. However, Snapchat Discover provides an alternative to brands needing to create the content themselves.

6. Digital Ecosystem: Snapchat has delivered a new paid media possibility to a brand’s digital ecosystem but, as with any new platform and tactic, a strategy needs to be developed to ensure it drives business value.

Twitter announced two new capabilities this week for its desktop and mobile application platforms: video uploads and group messaging.

While the former is a helpful way for users to spend more time on its platform, the latter points to a trend in the US that advertisers should keep a close watch on in case they haven’t already: private group messaging apps.

While social media centers around publishing content publicly into the social web, research provided below shows that users are steadily growing their usage of private messaging apps, which offer social tools including video, image, emoji, and link sharing to enjoy a “much more intimate experience.”

A Closer Look at Private Messaging Apps

What makes the group messaging apps so attractive is simple: they allow users to send text, links, video and photos to friends at cheaper rates than traditional text messaging services and allows them to connect in a private manner with multiple friends at once.

The growth in messaging apps, is likely a response to the more public nature of popular apps like Twitter and Facebook, where status updates and posts are visible to the many rather than the few. – NY Times

Messaging apps WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, are quite robust and offer tools that extend their value beyond sending content.

The US is showing signs of catching up to this robust private messaging trend. For example, Snapchat users can send money to one another within the app.  A “Discover” section in Snapchat’s new update lets users receive news and fresh content from brands including Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, VICE, and the Food Network.

WhatsApp Puts the Spotlight on Private Messaging

WhatsApp may be relatively unknown in the U.S. when compared with its usage in Asia, but this private chat application has 700 million monthly active users, and noticing the rise in private messaging apps, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in February for $21.8 billion.

Fred Wilson, a Venture Capitalist known for investing early in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and other social platforms, expressed his views on private messaging apps in a recent blog post: “Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp in February of this year was the transaction that defined this trend.”

In addition, Mr. Wilson comments that in 2015, “More Asian penetration into the US market will come from the messenger sector as both Line and WeChat make strong moves to gain a share of the lucrative US messenger market.”

Private Messaging’s ImpactFacebook Messenger

Private messaging apps may take some share away from traditional social media platforms. For example, below you’ll note how Facebook Messenger places a minor but noticeable dent in Facebook’s platform usage.

According to comScore’s mobile app usage report (Nov 2014), Facebook’s app was the top app (by percent of overall reach) in November, at 69%.

Facebook’s Messenger app came in fifth place, with a reach of 43.1 percent. According to comScore, just a year ago, “those numbers stood at 76.2 percent and 22.1 percent, respectively.’

comScore mobile apps

Source: comScore

An interesting Tweet showcasing the importance Mark Zuckerberg places on messaging apps come from CNBC’s Eli Langer:


Brands Are Testing the Waters

In the US, the private messaging apps may not be big enough to justify your attention. BBC and WSJ recently tried messaging app Line to cover the Charlie Hebdo story and did not see a significant spike in traffic.


Image Source: Digiday 

Advertisers should take note of the potential presented by private messaging apps in the US. Their popularity here is clearly growing: Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat being two key examples highlighted in this note. The social web continues to change and private messaging apps are presenting a new and exciting way to communicate with your audience.

Your Experience

Do you see yourself sharing more content within a private group messaging app? I would love to know the impact private messaging apps may be having on your content sharing experience.

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. This week hear about Instagram, brand fails, and the new trailer for Ant Man (and, unfortunately for Paul Rudd, it seems it is too late to change the name). Enjoy!




  • Instagram now dominates Twitter on engagement, not just users
  • A teen’s eye view of social media. While it’s an insightful post, it is just a window into one teen’s opinion and usage habits. For more perspectives, click onto the comments on the right hand side

In other news…


  • Virgin Trains saves this poor man from a loo roll predicament, via Twitter
  • Congrats Pepsi, this week you made it onto the (still fairly short) list of YouTube pre-roll ads I didn’t skip past
  • Redditors smelled a rat when Nissan & Renault’s CEO conducted an AMA (Ask Me Anything)
  • In a move towards a more tailored stream, Twitter rolls out a ‘while you were away’ recap feature
  • Get your brand’s social profiles into the first page of Google’s results
  • Google’s customisable phone, Project Ara, is coming to Puerto Rico this year

Just for fun




Worth a Watch



GIF of the Fortnight

“I dare you to throw that onto the ice”

[Can’t see this GIF?]

Cheers, see you in two weeks,


PS Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit of an eggs-aggeration?

PPS I saw Birdman yesterday – believe the hype, it’s great.


Heroes – firefighters, X-men, Enrique Iglesias circa 2001 – are known to be bold problem solvers who fight for good (or your heart). Why then are Millennials known as the “hero” generation? And why does that answer matter to companies?

Millennials are the largest generation yet and are poised to change the world. Increasingly acting as agents of change, they not only expect to succeed at having an impact on the world, but also seek out brands with the same goals in mind. Moreover, the development of new technologies and experiential services showcased at this year’s CES event seem to have the Millennials in mind, opening up countless new opportunities for brands to build programs that engage the Millennial generation; but first it’s necessary to understand the audience.

In an exclusive Social@Ogilvy webinar, Millennial expert Todd Metrokin, Vice President and Creative Strategist, Ogilvy & Mather Washington D.C., shared a deeper look at Millennial behaviors and how to market to this “hero” generation. Topics covered include:

  • Who are the Millennials?
  • What do they care about?
  • How can brands engage Millennials?

View the full webinar presentation below:


Enjoy these infographics to share that summarize key takeaways from the session:

5 Emerging Millennial Traits        6 Ways to Market to Millennials

Thomas Crampton, Global Managing Director of Social@Ogilvy, has compiled a list of the 10 Books That Best Explain Social Media (and a few bonus books). The following appeared on his blog on January 12, 2015.

Tropical rain forests have been felled for trite tomes on Social Media hyperventilating how “everything is different”.

It isn’t.

People are still people.

Rather than look for a book on “How To Snapchat”, I seek insight from great thinkers around sociology, behavior change and influence.

The below list of books was compiled with much input from the global Social@Ogilvy team with a view to helping people not so familiar with social media understand what is happening.

Which book would you add to the list?

1. Not surprisingly, one of the most recommended was a classic written before the advent of social media: Robert Cialdini on Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Influence, the effect that one person’s actions have on others, is a key element to thinking about social media. Cialdini identified the key drivers of influence before Facebook was born. His principles remain true today, though the tools have evolved. This is my desert island book for social media.

2. Also in an older vein, in my discussions with SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg about the roots of his company’s mission, he cited Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States. Published in 1970, it is an excellent guide to the operational sensitivity that social media can bring to companies.

3. For a more recent book, danah boyd’s It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens offers a great view into how teens are using social media. Historically, they have been early indicators of the direction social media takes. Among her insights: The Facebook era of social media (open sharing) may have been an anomaly as people move into more private networks.

4. Although a bit dated, I still think the The Cluetrain Manifesto approach has echoes today. The core idea – “Markets are Conversations” – was well ahead of its time and still stands up. Last week, two of the original authors updated their work with New Clues.

5. As companies move towards telling stories across social media, they have an ever greater need to understand the principles of memorable stories. Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is a great guide to storytelling. Good book for anyone looking to create compelling content, from journalists to content marketers.

6. People behave irrationally, but predictably. What are the triggers and touchpoints that allow us to identify what is Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions?

7. Signaling theory masterclass: Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate.

8. Former Facebook product designer Paul Adams, an industry superstar, wrote Grouped: How small groups of friends are the key to influence on the social web.

9. Clay Shirky, a leading thinker based at Columbia, wrote Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. All of his work is worth a read.

10. You could argue that, in the sweep of human history, the era of Mass Media was an abheration sparked by the steam press and electronics. Humanity is now simply reverting to the norm, thanks to the Internet and social media, according to Tom Standage in Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years.

Rounding out the list for some bonus books are:

11. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

12. Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing

13. Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

14. The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy

15. Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

16. The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

17. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator