Are you marketing with Snapchat yet? You may think twice about it in light of this week’s security breach. An anonymous hacker on Tuesday published a database on SnapchatDB.info containing millions of usernames and their corresponding phone numbers, and the leaked information quickly ricocheted across the Web. Privacy experts say the breach could have been worse, but it still may give marketers pause.
If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, it’s a service that allows you to send photos and videos to your friends that disappear within one to 10 seconds after they receive it. It’s popular among college students (unlike Facebook, which we “old” folks have taken over). And it has been gaining popularity among some businesses as the latest, greatest social media marketing tool. Since Snapchat images or videos last only a few seconds, it can be a clever marketing tool for companies that want to offer sneak glimpses of new videos or products.
A New York yogurt shop called 16 Handles successfully used Snapchat to promote its products. Customers would take a photo of themselves eating yogurt, send it to Snapchat in return for a coupon that had to be opened and redeemed at the store, since it would disappear within 10 seconds. Pretty creative, right?
However, security experts warn that making data self-destruct for real is very difficult. And as Snapchat learned this week, it couldn’t prevent a hacker from making its users’ phone numbers disappear. If they don’t fix this problem soon, the only thing disappearing will be their customers.
What do you think about Snapchat? Will you use it to market your company’s products in 2014? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you like this article, please share it with your friends. Thanks!
Image courtesy: Freedigitalphoto.net / Stuart Miles