5 Reasons Why Snapchat Needs To Open Up Their APIs Again
It seemed like only yesterday that Snapchat had to close their APIs because of a hack that took place through one of their third party apps. The APIs had a security loophole which unfortunately allowed for hackers to exploit user data. Snapchat decided to close their APIs to limit developer involvement and the availability of third party apps and functionality. Recently, there have been rumblings about the efficacy and relevance of Snapchat as a social media platform, especially for marketers looking to advertise and engage with users. But we think Snapchat should open up their APIs again to reignite the service and make itself stay relevant! Here are 5 reasons:
1. An Unofficial API Already Exists
Guess what? You can find an unofficial API that indie developers released that actually works around Snapchat’s security. This means that there are independent developers who are building apps and services around Snapchat in the shadows. Of course a word of caution, some apps and services require the user to provide their password to an unofficial API. This may dissuade companies or marketing firms who want snapchat analytics to study their marketing ROI but they are not allowed to share their brand’s password to an unauthenticated service. There is still a major security risk with these APIs. However, what the unofficial API has told us is that there is market fit for more Snapchat products.
2. Enhancing Stories
One of the best features Snapchat has developed is “Stories”. Brands and users are creating vibrant and engaging stories to their users. Opening up the APIs may allow developers to create apps and services to enhance this beloved feature. Imagine virtual or immersive snapchats using Oculus? Or what about users creating stories from old Facebook content? The possibilities are endless!
3. Snapchat Management Software
Marketers love their social media management apps (e.g. Tweetdeck, Hootsuite). It makes it easier for them to track their accounts, manage content, their communities and even do basic on the fly analytics. Snapchat can really benefit from an authenticated social media deck that includes Snapchat as it will only help grow the company’s profile. Marketers can carefully craft stories and well timed snaps to augment their marketing and user engagement campaigns.
4. “Build Your Own” Snapchat
Every user is different and they should build their own experiences. The APIs can give developers the means to create standalone features of Snapchat. Much like Facebook’s new strategy by segmenting the apps to tailor to each ecosystem and users’ needs. Some users may only want to see stories, some may only want text or some just want to send pictures. Whatever it is, open APIs can help give users choice on what they want from Snapchat.
Our favourite potential… analytics. Right now there is no easy and secure way to analyze your Snapchat data (Snaplytics requires the account’s password), let alone collect it to store it in a reservoir automatically. Marketers are jumping to use Snapchat to deliver exclusive content but unfortunately, there are no means to easily analyze their efforts. No one wants to market something blind, marketers want to look at the analytics behind Snapchat to make more informed decisions. It’s a platform with tons of raw data… if anything… untapped data! Reopening the APIs can foster a proliferation of analytics suites whereby the users and their platform is both authenticated by Snapchat’s backend.
Let’s imagine for a second that Crowdbabble supports in depth Snapchat analytics. Our platform can provide marketers the necessary analytics on understanding how engagement rates of Snapchat impact other social media outlets. Marketers will be able to see all kinds of metrics, especially regional data which would help them strategize their efforts more effectively such as delivering exclusive content.
Snapchat releasing their APIs again will do wonders for the Snapchat ecosystem but more importantly, it might even help them grab more users and take on some of the bigger social media juggernauts. It just might be the spark that Snapchat needs to stay relevant in the rapidly changing social media arena.