Snapchat distances itself from social media in new campaign

Snapchat has launched a new campaign called ‘Less Social Media. More Snapchat’ in a bid to distance itself from what it perceives to be an increasingly negative social media landscape. The 360-marketing campaign includes television, print, out-of-home and digital ads that highlight the platforms unique credentials.

It’s a bold move in a week that also sees Facebook turn 20 – a milestone that has caused many to reflect on the increasingly negative impacts of social media over the last two decades. On Friday, The Economist tweeted out its latest cover art reading, ‘The End of the Social Network’, and saying ‘Social media are undergoing a profound but little-noticed transformation. Strikingly, they are no longer very social. The tide is turning.’

Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Creative Officer at Snapchat, said: “Snapchat was built differently from the very beginning as a place where people can be their real selves with their real friends. With this campaign, we want to show the world exactly what Snapchat is not, and what it really is. We are shining a light on the unfiltered, bright yellow world of Snapchat, where people can easily share what matters to them in the moment, with the people that matter to them most.”

Within the campaign, the company will emphasise its credentials as a place where people have been encouraged to feel less pressured to ‘just post the perfect stuff’. The ephemeral nature of its content is of course a longstanding example of this, and what was a unique offering prior to Instagram’s launch of stories.

Snap says that while other platforms have naturally leaned towards a kind of metrification of popularity, through the amassing of likes, comments and followers, its products have always been about messaging with friends, rather than scrolling through endless feeds ‘or engaging with huge networks of people’.

That last point is a particularly interesting one, in an age when the cookie is being phased out and a shift away from scale towards more carefully curated, contextual media environments is being eyed across the web more broadly. One thing Snapchat is undoubtedly right to flag, is that it was always designed as an alternative to the social status quo, and in this latest move appears to be treading that path again.