You Can’t Ignore Snapchat Anymore + the List App + #ICYMI

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 63.

LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry. Something else you’d like to see?

Let us know at news@teamlmtd.com.

You can’t ignore Snapchat anymore

snapchat $$$

If you thought Snapchat was just for tweens and perverts, think again. The little-social-network-that-could, in the four years since founding, has amassed nearly 200 million monthly active users, around half of whom use the app every day. Last December, the app was valued at $20 billion, after raising a $485 million round. It’s also relentlessly evolving its product, having made three big changes in the last three months.

What’s more, a staggering 37% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24, the key millennial, future-earners, future-spenders, influencer demographic that companies (and everyone) care about most. As such, companies have been increasingly sitting up and taking notice of the fast-growing young company.

And where companies go, advertisers follow.

This week, American agency Giant Spoon began pitching clients on the social network, reports Digiday, sending out a briefs on a wide range of topics, from GIFs to emojis. “We wanted to use Snapchat to actually add some value [as opposed to being self-promotional] and push potential clients to come to us by providing them something useful,” co-founder Jon Haber told Digiday.

Their first offering comprised a five-minute presentation, mixing serious and silly in the classic Snapchat style, on the history of GIFs, as well as shorter marketing tips or cultural comments aimed at CMOs. Most of the content was cute and funny, if just a little cringe-inducing.

Giant Spoon might be one of the first to actively pitch on Snapchat, but other agencies have been beefing up their snap skills in recent months as well. This summer, worldwide firms BBDO and Havas hosted employee Snapchat programs, with the aim of improving their teams’ Snapchat literacy. BBDO employees were encouraged to tell stories based on a unique daily theme; the best were compiled into the following (adorable, emoji-rich) highlight reel:

Snapchat is gathering steam in the MENA, but a larger takeaway here is a reminder of the importance of staying on top of trends, however ephemeral they may seem at first. Now grab the nearest 15 year-old and get them to teach you Periscope.

Apps we love

the-list-app

This week’s app comes recommended by LMTD Strategist Ashley Gresh. Released last week by actor B. J. Novak and Dev Flaherty, The List App lets people and organisations, simply, make lists. Here’s what Ashley has to say:

“Easily digestible, varied content offers fodder to those who have a penchant for shiny objects. Perfect for the TL;DR crowd, The List App offers both informative (NYT’s 5 Things to Know [today]), and smirk-able (Jimmy Fallon’s “Things I’d Never Trade for Brick in Catan”) material that entertains for the briefest of periods. Perfect for uncomfortable elevator rides and late night insomnia, The List App is definitely a bite-sized opportunity for distraction.”

The List App is only available for iOS users at the moment. Download here.

#ICYMI

Zooey Deschanel’s media startup HelloGiggles was just acquired by Time Inc. for $30M

Facial recognition technology can teach us about human emotion (also, here’s how to hide from the cameras)

Better passwords through poetry

As eBay’s stocks slip, here’s a look at the grim outlook for the e-commerce pioneer

Australians are petitioning to rename their currency the dollarydoo, a Simpsons reference, to boost their sagging economy

OMG NEW APPLE EMOJI. You’re going to want to begin deleting photos now.

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