Media + PR + Analytics

Snapchat Search Bar: What You Need to Know

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Emily Poklar


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Snapchat made searching easier with their latest update (which finally came to iOS last week). With the new Snapchat search function, users can effortlessly add new friends, start a group chat and discover brands on every screen.

Brands should expect discoverability to only get easier as Snapchat search continues to develop.

Snapchat’s new search bar isn’t anything revolutionary—it functions like any search bar. The results are divided into sections: Quick Chat, Groups, New Friends, Quick Add and Contacts.

Users can even search for publishers and subscribe to see their content in Discover. Available on all screens of the app, users no longer need to swipe to start a chat, film a video or find the Discover page.

This new functionality appears to be a significant move towards making the app more user-friendly and profitable for brands.

Solving past search and discovery issues

Initially, Snapchat search matched results exactly on the query. Brands were only discoverable when users searched their username or uploaded a brand’s Snapcode, which no one wanted to do—or did. Now, the app is starting to suggest results based on related terms.

Searching “Kardashian” populates all of the sisters’ usernames, even faux Kardashian half-sister Kendall Jenner. Snapchat search could lead to so much more, like searching for a brand category and populating usernames that relate. For example, “pizza” could eventually populate username results for area pizza chains and prioritize advertisers.

In my view, Snapchat still falls short in curating relevant and trending content targeted towards the user. It fails to give brands precedent in the app experience like Facebook and Instagram do so well.

That said, the future looks bright for brands as the universal search bar gives developers a central space to surface relevant, interesting and trending content, and could indicate even more developments down the line.

What does Snapchat search mean for your brand?

Simply put, this could be an avenue toward more exposure for brands on Snapchat.

A recent AdAge article discusses how Snapchat search could help brands reach a greater audience with new forms of Snapchat advertising. The expanded platform and experience introduce a new screen for developers to add new features.

Likely to come next are new advertising revenue opportunities. Within the interface, Snapchat could add search advertising, paid placements and suggested searches. Snapchat could even track search behavior and use it for targeted ads.

These advertiser-friendly changes may be designed to bring back some publishers who left Snapchat behind in favor of higher view counts on Instagram Stories.

However, even as new advertising opportunities arise, Snapchat’s hyper-dedicated, young (AKA: super-desirable) audience will only stay and engage with the right content. Which means that any brand that plans to succeed on Snapchat needs to invest in solid content creation.

Bottom Line?

Snapchat’s improved search functions will soon benefit brands looking to reach, engage and build an audience. It could even become the central place for discovery and advertising within the app.

Emily Poklar


Went to the same high school as Oprah. Just sayin.

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