Snapchat's sexting stigma is long gone. The photo and video messaging app is a real-deal, potentially huge money-making machine. (At least, companies and investors seem to think so.) Even though Snapchat's revenue still isn't quite up to par with its crazy rumored $15 billion valuation, the app has become an innovative advertising tool for companies to engage with young customers and pretty much show that they're still hip. But the best companies and brands on Snapchat are the ones that aren't just using the app to promote products — they're making a name for themselves as storytellers.
When Snapchat unveiled Stories in October 2013, people weren't entirely sure how to use the 24-hour feature. After all, wasn't the whole pitch to have disappearing messages that only lasted 10 seconds. But less than a year later, the Venice startup announced it was the most popular feature with more stories viewed than individual Snaps a day. When Snapchat launched Our Stories, which crowdsourced and stitched together people's photos and videos from live events, it opened the door for users to reach tens of millions of people — with just 10 seconds of their time.
Brands started seeing the opportunity to connect with users in intimate, yet quirky stories. For companies, the best part of it all was they could track and see how many people were intentionally tuning in and watching their stories. With artistic takes on food to A-listers dropping by, these brands are a must follow on Snapchat. Oh, and major props to the people behind their Snapchat accounts.
Since 2013, the food delivery and takeout app has shared photos, videos, and coupon codes in its Stories to highlight tasty foods and great deals. GrubHub even hired artist Michael Platco, dubbed the "Van Gogh of Snapchat," to draw some of its simple yet entertaining posts.
Sour Patch Kids
Yes, those sour yet sweet tykes have their own Snapchat channel. Tap in to watch them pull off pranks and compete in outfit contests. Stories also feature the Blue Kid, a life-sized figure that shows how awesome life can be when you're a Sour Patch Kid.
Taco Bell was one of the first Snapchatting companies to really take advantage of the app's storytelling tools. The playful plots aren't just about tacos. Through its account, Taco Bell has introduced new munchables like its Beefy Crunch Burrito as well as taught valuable lessons like how to score a date for Valentine's Day. It's the taco that just keeps on giving.
You've already seen Dove's body-positive messages for women on TV, but now you can get them through your phone. The Snaps are exactly what you need to help you on a down day. Everyone needs a quick uplift sometimes, so go on and get yours.
Mashable doesn't just use Snapchat to showcase new gadgets. The digital media site gives awesome behind-the-scenes looks at live reporting — from Black Lives Matter protests to New York's blizzard Armageddon this winter. Its take on SXSW this year was so good it was almost like you were there — almost.
Last year, MTV skipped the stodgy media circus surrounding its Video Music Awards nominations and announced them via Snapchat. On normal days, the music entertainment channel shows exclusive celebrity interviews, gives backstage access to shows, and updates you with the latest entertainment news.
Adding to the Black Friday frenzy last year, Amazon launched its Snapchat account and shared exclusive promo codes for OMG deals. For example, they sold $60 wireless Bluetooth speakers for just $1. It's not November yet, but those Snap Deals come around every so often so definitely keep an eye on its account.
And one more account you should maybe-probably-definitely be following? Bustle on Snapchat, duh. You can find us at bustledotcom.
Image: Getty Images (1), Snapchat