Game Changer or Nah

Another day, another Snapchat update. My first thought when I read the new feature description in the app store description was that this would be a game changer. I genuinely jumped out of my chair when I read it.


I was desperately hoping that this new tool would allow you to do one of the following two things.

  1. Post a Snapcode in your story that clicks through to a website
  2. If you screenshot it from inside a story you can use Snapchat to scan it and link out.

This would be exciting because it would allow you to measure the effectiveness of certain Calls To Actions during snap campaigns. For example, you could use a and track exactly how many people came from a snapchat story. But alas, no such luck.

How to create a snapcode.png

The new feature works the same way QR codes worked years ago. You put in a website in and it generates a unique code, people who scan that code with a QR code reader will get redirected to the website. The only thing different about this is the only way to scan these codes is within Snapchat.  So even if you add one of these to your Snapstory and a user screenshots it, they still need to have another phone that has Snapchat installed to scan it. Not the easiest way to direct a user to a website.

I would find it hard to argue that this is a response to the Instagram Stories feature allowing verified users to link out to website by swiping up. This is more of a branding play by Snapchat to get Snapcodes in more places.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Snapchat has shown in numerous ways they DO NOT want people to leave the app. Last year when users were able to sign up to vote through Snapchat, it all happened INSIDE snapchat. Then Snapchat gave people the ability to buy movie tickets, INSIDE Snapchat. Snapchat gave publishers the ability to provide all their news, INSIDE Snapchat. Snapchat now allows people to play games, INSIDE Snapchat. Now, Snapchat let’s you open websites, in a browser, INSIDE Snapchat. 

On one hand this is incredibly exciting, the’ve shown they are willing to work with advertisers to do new things, in new ways, as long as it’s INSIDE Snapchat. The ad ecosystem they are creating gives advertisers endless possibilities for ad functionality as long as the users stay INSIDE Snapchat. On the other hand it’s pricey and depends on Snapchat’s ability to grow and retain an active user base. (UH OH) One thing is for certain, Snapchat wants you to open Snapchat and stay there. If they do ever allow the ability to link out to a website you can expect that it will be served as a premium paid ad feature.

I feel like the term game changer get’s thrown around a lot these days. Every time a new feature for Snapchat comes out a myriad of articles come out citing this new feature as a game changer.  More often than not, the feature doesn’t make a big difference in the apps ecosystem and everything goes on as usual, and unfortunately Snapchat’s latest feature, seems to be more of the same.

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