Snapchat Yellow: Launching Creative Ideas

Snap Inc’s Need for Innovation

Snap Inc. has been in desperate need of a fresh idea. The company has been struggling as popular social media apps continue to include Snapchat features on their platforms. Facebook and Instagram have both introduced facial-recognition filters and Stories, stealing market share from Snapchat users. When talking to my friends, they agree that the inclusion of Stories on Instagram has changed the way they share media. Even though Snapchat Stories have been around for years, Instagram now allows them to reach more followers and offers more editing options for photos. From Q1 to Q2 in 2018, Snapchat has lost 3 million users according to Statista. This loss of users does not help Snapchat’s social media sector, as the company generates most of its profits through ad revenue.

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Introducing Snapchat Yellow

To find a new way to attract users, Snap Inc. announced the launch of their new initiative Yellow in May 2018. In their press release, Snap described Yellow as a “launchpad for creative minds and entrepreneurs who are looking to build the next generation of great media companies.” 

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Yellow is a startup accelerator that aims to fuel innovation by inviting creative teams or individuals to apply for the program with ideas from three main areas: interactive content, AR experience, or media for narrative storytelling. Snap will reward the winning entrepreneurs with a $150,000 investment, commercial support, mentorship from industry executives, and a creative office space in Venice, California. The winning ideas also have the opportunity to be featured and distributed on Snapchat. The teams will take on a 3-month residency at Snap’s headquarters, with the Fall 2018 class beginning their projects in September.

 

Fall 2018 Inaugural Class

The first 9 companies included in Snapchat Yellow are diverse and exciting. A few of the promising ideas include ANRK, SelfieCircus, and Premme.

ANRK is a studio that produces immersive storytelling through AR, VR, and video games. The London studio is passionate about creating unique productions in collaboration with organizations to have a real world impact. Previous work includes “The Party,” a VR experience based on the lives of autistic women, and “Experience Barcelona,” a 4D VR game that allows users to glide, skateboard, or race in 360 degrees.

 

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Experience Barcelona, ANRK

SelfieCircus designs pop-up events created specifically for sharing on social media. The interactive exhibits will be accessible for artists, brands, and consumers to create unique content. The platform will be using social media to connect these users in person.

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SelfieCircus

Premme is a fashion lifestyle brand for plus-size women that aims to gain more media recognition for all body types. This platform is using its brand to change the conversation in fashion and beauty industries. Their collaboration and backing from Snapchat will only serve to address challenges for plus-sized women in fashion.

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Premme

 

Collaboration for a Greater Cause

Snapchat’s introduction of Yellow reminded me of TED’s The Audacious Project. As I mentioned in my presentation last week, TED Conference launched a similar initiation this year in which they created a platform for collaborative philanthropy. The Audacious Project invites any and all to apply with their idea for creating positive change in the world. The winners of The Audacious Project this year range from missions to explore the ocean’s undiscovered Twilight Zone to plans for helping African farmers grow more crops each year. TED has a goal to provide $600 million in funding from major organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and already raised $400 million. Similar to Snapchat Yellow, the winners of The Audacious Project gain access to support from TED, their corporate connections, as well as access to the network of previous TED speakers and their resources.

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TED’s The Audacious Project

However, TED has a much broader goal than Snap. TED is able to support any ideas that they believe will benefit our world. Snapchat, on the other hand, is hoping to supplement their ad revenue with big ideas from up and coming digital entrepreneurs.

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Facebook for Developers

Another consideration is how Snap Inc’s model compares to their competitor’s initiatives to get involved with the startup community. Facebook has an existing program, FbStart, that helps developers grow their business. Through technical support, an online forum, and in-person events, FbStart gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to a unique community in which they can develop their apps. Applicants can apply for a range of businesses including games and social good apps. Furthermore, Facebook has partners in Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, and MailChimp who offer exclusive benefits to FbStart members. Yellow, in comparison, is a platform that aims to help a wide range of creative teams bring success to their ideas, while at the same time hoping for an increase in Snap Inc’s revenue.

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Facebook’s Partners

I’m excited to see where this venture goes in the future. It will be interesting to see if Snapchat begins to include these VR and media projects in their social media app, or if they will launch a new sector of Snap Inc. altogether. Either way, this initiation is a fantastic way to inspire creatives from around the world and will certainly foster innovation.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/chart/7951/snapchat-user-growth/

https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/10/snapchat-yellow-accelerator/

https://www.yellowla.com/

https://developers.facebook.com/fbstart/

https://www.audaciousproject.org/

 

8 thoughts on “Snapchat Yellow: Launching Creative Ideas

  1. Great post, very visually stimulating! It must have been very hard for Snap in recent years to deal with Instagram and Facebook creating their own version of Snapchat features. It was great to learn about the Yellow project, as I love to hear about well established companies supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, this is super interesting to hear about since I was wondering how Snap was dealing with their recent fall-off of users. I know a lot of people have been very unhappy with the updates made, but it’s great that the company has come up with a new way to handle the recent backlash. I really appreciated how you compared Yellow to TED’s The Audacious Project, because that was a fascinating new initiative to hear about during your presentation. I’m also curious to see how Snapchat goes about launching Yellow–as you said, they could use their already prominent platform, or create a completely new sector of their business. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Allison! I really enjoyed reading about how Snap is helping other entrepreneurs pursue their ventures through the accelerator program. I also find it very interesting that two of the companies you wrote about, ANRK and Selfie Circus were similar to Snapchat in the way that they both revolved around media, virtual experiences, and sharing content. After investing in these companies, it will be interesting to see how Snap will implement some of these companies features into their own platform, potentially hinting towards an acquisition. It is clear that Snap needs to innovate to stay ahead of their competition. That being said, I think it is very unique and strategic that Snap is serving as an incubator for media startups that have the potential to help Snap innovative themselves. It seems as if Snap is outsourcing innovation along with their own, in-house innovation teams. I’m looking forward to seeing how these companies continue to grow with Snap’s guidance.

    Thank you for sharing!
    – Nick

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s really exciting when you see these huge tech companies pivot their focuses. With Facebook, TED, and Snapchat all creating accelerator programs, there are so many more opportunities for big ideas to become realities. SelfieCircus I’m sure will be really popular among Instagram influencers and users looking for more social clout. I’m interested to see how it evolves!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Allison! I had no idea Snapchat Yellow even existed, and it sounds like a pretty cool platform. As you pointed out, Snapchat recently experienced their first quarterly loss of monthly users since their IPO, and to me, this seems like Snapchat grasping at straws to remain relevant. I recently gave up snapchat, and I think that more and more people will do the same as Snap fails to innovate on their own platform. In my opinion, they should focus on their own innovation before spreading themselves too thin in an attempt to help others. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great Post! It’s interesting to hear how Snap is trying to continue to separate itself in the social media field and encourage more content innovation in house. As you said, although Snap originally brought novel ways to interact on social media, Facebook and Instagram have largely adopted Snap’s original differentiators. However, I wonder if Snap can try to dominate the inclusion of AR and VR into their platform offerings. AR and VR are looking like the next big things in social media, so I believe that the platform that best adopts these technologies will be the winner. Let’s see if Snapchat Yellow can help them win!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting how all three geographic regions began to decline simultaneously. The Yellow incubator is a necessary step for Snap to stay relevant in the face of rising competitors stealing their market share (even though all tech companies are launching incubator programs). The companies like ANRK sound fascinating, and maybe one can help carry Snap forward!

    Liked by 1 person

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