It sounds hard to believe, but Snapchat has become a real thing, despite existing in a world where the business model is based on disappearing content. But radio ads disappear too, and how much money over time have brands pumped into that medium? Sure, good TV ads get uploaded on YouTube and shared on social media, but it turns out — good Snapchats are getting saved and uploaded to other social media platforms, too.
Yes, platforms like Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter are carrying Snapchat’s water, allowing the new stars of Snapchat to make good money from brands who want to tap into their rare ability to make content go viral, while then screen-shotting and uploading them to these other platforms for the sake of longevity, whatever that means these days.
On top of that, Snapchat has launched its own story-telling feature, allowing users to string together Snapchats to tell a story that then stay live for 24 hours before disappearing, a near eternity in Snapchat time.
Which means: brands are now paying these new stars of Snapchat hundreds of thousands of dollars to capture eyeballs and attention that will hopefully lead to further brand interaction, and occasionally drawing crowds of followers to meet the Snapchat stars IRL. A new marketing agency, GrapeStory, has arisen from this new stew of interactivity to pair brands with Snapchatters and make everybody happy.
So who are these new stars of Snapchat? Here’s a breakdown of the new who’s who:
Jerome Jarre — Jarre describes himself as an “outgoing Borat Frenchman,” and comes to Snapchat after amassing 6 million followers on Vine for pulling public pranks on unsuspecting pedestrians. He was quickly able to parlay that following on Vine into 1.2 million Snapchat followers while his Instagram following leaped from 800K to 1.3 million. His Snapchat account is JEROMEJARRE, and he has 680K Twitter followers.
Chris Carmichael — Known as ChrisCarm on Snapchat and Tumblr, where he reposts his Snapchats so that they will live forever, Carmichael is a skateboarder who has developed a schtick wherein his magic bandana talks to him and mentors him through is skateboarding adventures. You can also get a feeling for his youthful musings on his Twitter account.
Shaun McBride — McBride’s account on Snapchat, Shonduras, has upwards of 140,000 followers. By day, the 27-year-old sells snowboards in Utah. By night (and probably also by day) McBride does clever doodles on Snapchat, like making dogs look like Disney princesses and stuff like that (collected on a Facebook page). All the attention on Snapchat has led McBride to be featured in multimedia stories for Forbes, twice. Do “in the moment creations,” he tells Forbes. “Have fun with it.” Also he recommends: “Don’t take pictures of your food.” Wise words.
Molly Mitchell — Using her Snapchat account Biggie_Molls, 23-year-old Mitchell targets Snapchat’s prime demographic, young women, as more than two-thirds of Snapchat users are females under 25. Mitchell’s Snapchats revolve around her mixed feelings about being a young single woman, either posting memes bemoaning single life or doodling in her fake boyfriend in selfies of her in everyday life. Her Snapchat work exists outside of Snapchat on Instagram.
Michael Platco — When Platco isn’t sending out Snapchats of himself dressed up as a wizard, he is helping brands maximize their own Snapchat accounts, so here’s a guy openly bridging the gap between native content development and brand-focused content without worrying about getting called a sell-out on Reddit. Instead of keeping his Snapchats on an existing social media platform, he uses his own self-branded website.
Buzz Aldrin — Well, maybe the second man to walk on the moon doesn’t have his own Snapchat account, but General Electric brought him on-board its social media team to promote its Snapchat channel to celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing. It makes at least as much sense as GE marketing silver high-top sneakers to celebrate its role in the NASA moon mission.
The girls from Girls — HBO created buzz by Snapchatting exclusive content, red-carpet candids and promos for the upcoming season of Girls in a way that feels more intimate and special to the obsessed fans of the show.
Logan Paul — Paul is best known for his Vine videos, which have also been sponsored by brands like Hanes. But when Sour Patch Kids wanted to give its Snapchat account some viral lift, Logan Paul switched social platforms to take care of business for them.