POV: Universal Search on Snapchat - The new tool can increase visibility for brands and help them connect to new users.

Whether you represent a big brand or a small company, introducing better search features for Snapchat can help you develop your audience on the platform. The app just streamlined search so that it is easier to navigate than ever before, uniting search efforts into one primary search bar that helps users find threads and content that they need, when they need it.

Instead of the usual filters, lenses and spectacles, Snapchat has gone back to basics with the speedy universal search field. This might seem like a basic added feature, but it actually has a great value. The search bar makes it easier to navigate the app and find friends and groups. Users looking for relevant content can find publishers and stories with the touch of a button, right at the top of the app. Once the user clicks on a friend on the search bar, they directly go to their shared chat.

Another feature that Snapchat is adding is the “Our Story” submission. Instead of submitting to one story in your area, Snapchat now allows people anywhere at any time to submit to “Our Story” and Snapchat can then figure out how it wants to aggregate the content, allowing it to create stories based on submission trends. This is exciting news for Mindshare clients: if there were enough submissions for an event, such as the “We run DXB” campaign by Nike, Snapchat would then create a featured story on this specific even that will be visible to the world.

Mindshare clients can benefit greatly from universal search on Snapchat. Potentially, this new feature has advertising opportunities: brands could pay for sponsored placement on top of the search results, or as suggestions in the search interface. When users search for a friend or a story, one of Mindshare’s clients can be at the top of this list, and this heightened visibility can build the brand’s Snapchat audience.

We don’t know yet if ads are coming to search on Snapchat, but as the network’s valuation grows, we suspect that it’s possible that brands may be able to reach out to users in that way in the future. As users lose interest in repetitive posts by their friends, users may begin to look for a way to discover new content. As the platform already offers the use of QR profile codes – another tool to be used by smart brands – we anticipate that Snapchat will introduce a new way to find cool new profiles in the future. In the meantime, universal search offers unprecedented visibility for brands and their marketing teams.