Snapchat debuts Context Cards to bolster local discovery
Snapchat, the image-messaging application with 173 million users, introduced a feature that provides more in-depth information about images shared by users, according to a Snap news post. "Context Cards" display related material like restaurant reviews and reservations, Uber and Lyft ride-hailing options or contact information, TechCrunch reported.
The Context Cards are similar to Snapchat's existing marketing tools for paid campaigns that can show links to stories for publishers when users swipe up. The cards show the same "More" link at the bottom of stories, and when users swipe, they will see content from Snap's partners on Context Cards, which include TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Michelin, Goop, OpenTable, Uber and Lyft.
Context Cards appear in a sequential feed, with the first one showing basic information such as the name and category, and user ratings sourced from partners like TripAdvisor and Foursquare. Additional cards have more detailed user reviews, directions, operating hours, phone numbers, ride-hailing options, reservations and Snaps from the same area posted by other Snapchat users. Snap released a video demonstrating the feature in action:
Context Cards add a new dimension to marketing on Snapchat beyond ad placements, geofilters and sponsored AR masks. The additional information about local surroundings opens up another channel for businesses to reach Snapchat users during mobile moments, similar to online review sites like Yelp or partner Foursquare. Restaurants, stores, entertainment venues and other destinations can now be more easily discovered and provide additional information about their products and services using Snapchat, which could bolster the platform's appeal. Launch partners like ride-hailers Uber and Lyft, along with TripAdvisor and OpenTable, should draw interest from users who frequently use those popular services anyway.
Context Cards won't appear in every Snap. Only Snaps that have been tagged with a geofilter, submitted to the public "Our Story" feed or that appear in the Snap Map or Search features will display the cards. For Snapchat's parent company Snap Inc., the Context Cards open another possible revenue stream from retailers and other businesses that are seeking alternatives to driving foot traffic outside of mapping apps, social media and the search engines that dominate digital advertising. The success of Context Cards will depend on Snap's ability to add value with the localized information while avoiding excessive intrusions on its core service
The news underscores Snap's growing specialty in location-based marketing, an area that's helping it distinguish itself in a crowded social media space that includes Facebook's Instagram stories. Snap Maps, another location-driven product, has spurred 40% growth for Snapchat's Stories feature, Axios reported earlier this week.
For another look at what Context Cards have to offer marketers, check out Andrew Hutchinson's analysis over at the freshly-redesigned Social Media Today.