First we saw the uprising of Snapchat. Now Facebook introduces Facebook Poke. Two sides of the same coin, really. The apps allow the users to send each other videos, photos or message that, unlike the majority of the content producing social networks, will “self-destruct” within few seconds after being viewed. A counterbalance to the constant self-portrayal and online identity creation enabled and reinforced by social media. But how can brands tap into the success of the trend? I’ve taken a look at two cases to give you a few hints of inspiration.



The app that started the craze. In April 2011, college student Evan Spiegel presented the idea in class to his fellow students. They were just not that into it. But without abandoning his idea, Evan found funding and the app became a reality. A successful reality that now delivers more than 30 million messages every single day. Though quickly being used for sexting more than anything else, the network also presents a great engagement opportunity for brands if they understand how to use this new medium in their marketing strategy. Fx by using the snapchat as a coupon code. It intertwines the principles of SoLoMo in its engagement of the fans by combining a mobile app with a concept of on-location activation: To win the discount you have to be in a store and engage actively. Online meets offline engagement.

Facebook Poke

Along came Facebook Poke. Not that different from Snapchat. Not that different at all, actually, which has caused for some critics to raise their voices against the bullying image Facebook is slowly starting to portray. Copycats or not, Facebook’s Poke app offers a slightly different take on the concept, as the app is incorporated into your Facebook account. This means that a brand with an established Facebook page can create a message and then send it to the fans of their page, making the distribution of the message to the target group run smoothly. However, as of today, it is only possible to distribute the message to 40 recipients at a time. Once you’ve reached this limit, you’ll have to start over and send out a new batch.

Like Snapchat, brands are picking up on the potential for a new kind of realtime interaction with their fans. DigitalBuzz has shared this Facebook Poke campaign from the Israeli Delta Lingerie:



This is another example of how to create a SoLoMo coupon campaign, as users need to engage with the brand message via their mobile before visiting the website to claim the discount. Though not as on-location as the Snapchat-16Handles case, both cases demonstrate the new engagement potential these one-time, self-destructible messages hold.


Tempted to experiment with the apps in the near future?