Snapchat broadcast its first television ad last weekend during the NCAA Final Four, and it seems to have set its sights on a new audience: its parents. The ad points to Snapchat as "a camera, where you feel it matters more than what you see," while painting it as an easy way to take pictures of untidy babies and put grandma's ears on it.
But framed as another milquetoast social app designed to flaunt idyllic vacations and family gatherings, the ad completely ignores what makes Snapchat attractive in the first place. Those very curated shots are already up on Instagram Stories. Snapchat is the place where you exchange silly jokes with your friends, nonessential thoughts, or brag about the bad quality nights you do not want to preserve after a five-second timer. Snapchat is not for warm and fuzzy family moments. It is not a "camera" for your "feelings". Snapchat is for shit.
Or at least, it used to be. Once the preferred method of youngsters for the sexts and the ephemeral videos starring their best friend in a Bender 3AM, Snapchat has taken a recent step. After Kylie Jenner confessed that she no longer uses the application, the company's share price fell at the rate of a loss of market value of approximately $ 1,500 million. Just last month, Chrissy Teigen and Rihanna publicly condemned the platform after it presented an ad asking if users would "prefer to slap Rihanna" or "hit Chris Brown".
As celebrities leave the ship and convince their followers to do so, Snap's interest in a larger and larger audience it feels more like a survival tactic than a useful promotion of a platform that was launched six years ago. (It took the company five full years to launch any instruction on Snapchat's intricate and usually slandered user interface, and even then, it was buried deep in its IPO file last year.) Its feeble attempts to win over everyone misunderstand its own product at its core, or signs of a desire to re-frame that product as a second-tier replacement for existing platforms. Either way, the announcement marks a bleak future on the horizon for Snapchat.