What most people don’t understand is that we’re all in the business of attention. We need the customer’s attention in order to tell our story. It all starts there, and then it’s up to us to understand how to tell stories on the platform where we’ve actually been able to gather their attention for a few seconds.
Snapchat is a platform that’s gotten a ton of press. Mainly for the fact that people think that 13-22 year-olds are using it to send each other naked pictures. Though this might be (and must be) 1 to 2 percent of the content being thrown around ( so is Facebook, twitter DM's, Tumblr and on and on ) the other 98 percent is what I pay attention to. See, what I think most people are missing with Snapchat is the limitations. I love restrictions. I love the 140 character limit of Twitter. It forces creativity. I love the 6 seconds of Vine. It forces creativity. What Snapchat does is even more interesting. The fact that the picture disappears forever after 3-10 seconds (I know I know it doesn't but it's how the user uses it and that's what matters) fascinates me because it forces the person consuming the content to actually give it the 5 seconds of attention it deserves. Many commercials, billboards, tweets, and Facebook posts never even get a quarter of a second of attention, but the far majority of Snapchat get several times that.
When Snapchat inevitably opens up the platform from a one-to-one kind of situation to a one-to-many kind of situation, I believe that it will start receiving tremendous attention in the mainstream; and that retailers, entrepreneurs, and other brands will start paying close attention to it. I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks using Snapchat to interact with my fans, and the reaction to the engagement has been overwhelming. To be honest, it reminds me of Twitter circa 2007 a lot.
So go ahead and keep reading all those articles written by old, out-of-touch white guys ( Like me :)). I’m going to stay right here in the trenches and figure out this platform, because I have a funny hunch that all of you will be snapping away soon enough, trying to figure out the “next big thing.”
...by the way, you should add me on Snapchat: GaryVayner
Gary Vaynerchuk is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author, self-taught wine expert, and innovative entrepreneur. You can find out more at garyvaynerchuk.com