Ben WoodsEurope Editor
Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.
Snapchat is a hugely popular, ephemeral photo-sharing service and ‘the kids’ love it. Seriously, they’re crazy for that stuff – stickers, filters and a whole range of stupid effects to make your boring face and boring life less boring.
You might have guessed from my tone that my experiments to explore the value of Snapchat haven’t gone all that well (and yes, I am long overdue another update).
Yesterday, however, the company gave some indication of wanting to push its user base to include people who want to consume Snapchat Stories in a Web browser on a desktop. And as everyone knows, ‘the kids’ love mobile, not desktop – that’s why zero effort has gone in that direction before now.
In order to kick it off with a bang, the first live event was the Oscars, which is again telling of that aspiration for a wider audience.
In potentially reaching a wider audience, you could argue that Snapchat is looking to bring content on the platform outside of its walled garden – it didn’t even allow you to share a profile link to allow someone to add you until recently, and even now, that link just bounces you across to the app for installation.
Snapchat wants a wider audience, but it wants to keep everyone neatly locked up within its own native apps, not watching along on the Web.
It might be trying to lure in new users with a different approach and medium. But if their experience is anything like mine – a sense of overwhelming confusion and pointlessness at almost every message received and frankly, a lot of creepy ones – they won’t stick around long.
Snapchat will eventually need to expand beyond millennials, but that doesn’t mean it really has anything to offer that market.
At least not yet, as far as I’ve seen.
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