You have surely heard the famous phrase “nothing remains, everything is ephemeral”. This is exactly what we want to talk about in our new post: ephemeral content, which for several years has been present in our way of communicating through social networks.
When the first social networks began to emerge, their use was focused on leaving permanent comments until it was decided to delete or cancel the account.
It all started with Snapchat, the social network that managed to steal the heart of every brand and millions of users in a short period of time. In 2012, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown released what was to become the most popular iOS app, with people sharing billions of photos in just the first few months after its release. Snapchat allowed users to send photos and videos that only lasted 24 hours, on a kind of “wall” similar to those on previous social networks.
This way you could see the publications of your friends, or people that you follow on the social network, for 24 hours. After that time the video or photo disappeared. This was the first time we had contact with ephemeral content.
But… what happened to Snapchat? Given the success that this type of content enjoyed with all users, especially among younger tones, the almighty Facebook decided to copy this format and incorporate it into Instagram, the photographic network par excellence, beginning to emerge among social network users, which meant that Snapchat lost a large part of the market share that it had obtained.
August 2017 marks one year since the launch of Instagram Stories, now reaching 100 million users daily. Since its inception, improvements such as being able to cite users, or insert links and stickers indicating time, temperature and location, have been introduced. In January 2017 ads arrived, and daily users already exceeded 150 million. In May Snapchat was hit again with masks that also allowed users to take pictures with puppy ears.
After its success with Instagram, Facebook has now introduced it into WhatsApp and the Facebook platform itself. Ephemeral videos and photos are here to stay.
What is the secret of success?
Until now the brands made sure that all the content they shared was very careful and elaborate. That impersonal air is what has been replaced by ephemeral content, which is of a more personal character, and generates empathy with the audience. Ephemeral content is an opportunity to show a carefree and spontaneous facet of a brand, and the audience appreciates this.
At a time when users demand and consume an increasing amount of information, ephemeral content is the perfect way to do so. Ephemeral content is spontaneous, fresh and original, three characteristics that make it practically unique.
The ability for brands to transmit large amounts of information, and to be able to do so in a more personal way, helps their consumers to connect with the brand, generates emotions, and increases brand engagement.