Snapchat Takes Turn at Couture

Snapchat aims to add to its fashion momentum with a coming-out party at the Paris couture.

“Casual,” “authentic” and “relatable” are not terms that naturally fit into the upper echelons of fashion, but they are the bread and butter of Snapchat. But that disconnect isn’t keeping brands from connecting with their followers on the platform.

Today, the disappearing messaging platform launches its first Live Story focused on the couture shows. That means that for a full day, all Snapchat users will be able to see a selection of user- and brand-generated photos and videos from the shows. The photos and videos are collected through the use of geotagging, which assigns a geographic location to digital photos and videos. This allows people in the front row and backstage to generate real-time content tied to the shows.

Some brands choose to sponsor content in the Live Stories (Snapchat did not disclose which ones), while the other content is sourced via geotagging and Snapchat curates it.

It’s a potentially huge audience for the rarified world of couture. Snapchat said that 10 million to 20 million of its 100 million users view a Live Story each day.

It’s also a testament to how far Snapchat has come. Since starting as a (not always PG-rated) teenage favorite five years ago, the Venice, Calif.-based platform has seen its valuation soar to an estimated $20 billion and, according to eMarketer, has more U.S. users than Twitter or Pinterest.

“We’ve noticed an interesting shift in the age groups on Snapchat,” said Toni Box, senior director of social media at PMX Agency. “Today, it’s much broader than it was about six months ago. It’s no longer just Gen X or Gen Y that’s engaging; we’ve actually been seeing some Boomers join.”

In April, a Piper Jaffrey survey found that U.S. teens described Snapchat as the “most important” platform for them. It is estimated that in 2015, 58 percent of those in the U.S. ages 18 to 24 were on Snapchat, while 27 percent of the 25 to 34 range were using it. That’s compared to Instagram, which also sees major adoption in the younger demographics: 55 percent of U.S. adults 18 to 24, and 57 percent of those 25 to 34.

“Brand adoption is certainly increasing, but I wouldn’t say that companies are shifting dollars out of the big social networks to replace them in Snapchat,” Box said. “What’s appealing for brands is the opportunity to form a more personal, one-to-one connection with customers. They’re realizing the platform can help to foster the important relationships that eventually lead to brand affinity and loyalty.”

Read the full story here in Women’s Wear Daily


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