You’re shooting video wrong and other lessons from Snapchat

Evan Spiegel is having a “nerve-wracking” week.

That’s one of the many things the 25-year-old Snapchat CEO shared with Adweek in a profile published Monday. And he’s feeling flustered for good reason: The wunderkind is heading to Cannes for the first time ever to speak in front of a crowd of 6,000-plus advertising executives in an attempt to make the app profitable.

But, judging by what learned from this glowing profile, he shouldn’t be worried at all. Here’s why:

Basically every young person is using Snapchat.
More than 200 million people use the app every month, according to stats supplied by Spiegel. That’s double what Bloomberg reported in its own, less-flattering, profile last month. And the app skews very young: 63 percent of Snapchat’s monthly users are aged between 13 and 24 making it prime millennial bait for advertisers.

Vertical is on the horizon.
People don’t rotate their phones when they’re watching videos and Snapchat realizes that. The app is telling advertisers to “think vertically” when creating content because videos formatted that way garner nine times more engagement than ads presented horizontally.

Don’t be creepy.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Spiegel isn’t keen on targeted advertising and Snapchat isn’t looking to store a cache of user data. The anonymity is why Snapchat exploded so quickly and they plan to keep it like that. “Some of that stuff that happens on the Internet — like when a product you didn’t end up buying follows you around — that ends up feeling strange and maybe even winds up doing brand damage,” he said.

People are actually using Discover.
Despite an alarming report in The Information back in April that traffic to publishers’ Discover channels dropped more than 50 percent since its launch at the end of January, Snapchat is standing by the channel. In fact, Cosmopolitan’s channel racks up 1.82 million viewers each day, which is a “big audience” considering the magazine’s website garners roughly 40 million people every month. Spiegel says Snapchat’s exploring ways to make the Discover button more prominent within the app.

Advertisers are excited.
One ad exec told Adweek that their firm is “really bullish” on the app’s prospects. Snapchat is planning a splashy presentation called 3V focusing on “vertical, video and views” to entice ad execs that it’s the real deal. “Last year, it was Pinterest. Now, it’s Snapchat’s turn,” another exec commented.

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