Okay, What Actually is Snapchat?

Amazingly, very few designers and marketers know about Snapchat. Among Millennials, it’s only the third most popular social media platform, right behind Facebook and Instagram. More surprisingly, according to this chart, it has even surpassed Twitter.

Snapchat is a messaging app for sharing moments with friends. You can “snap” a photo or video, add doodles, and send it to a friend or add it to your “Story”. When you directly snap a friend, they have up to 10 seconds to view the image and then it’s gone – never to be seen again (ostensibly).

Story works a little differently than regular snaps. When you add a snap to your Story, as opposed to directly snapping somebody, your friends have up to 24 hours to open your snap.

Whichever method you use to share your moments, once the allotted time expires, the photo or video is gone forever.

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It’s probably not that much of a surprise to you that a huge majority of Millennials use smartphones. I know I’m not alone when I say that my iPhone is the last thing I look at before falling asleep, and the first thing I look at when I wake up. It’s an ingrained habit, and I don’t know if I’d have it any other way.

Smartphone wirepost Chart 1You can see from Nielsen’s chart at right that 85% of Millennials aged 18-24 and 86% of Millennials aged 25-34 own smartphones.

Browsing the web doesn’t just take place on computers anymore, and with the massive number of smartphone users amongst Millennials, I can’t emphasize how important it is to build websites that are responsive to the size of screen you’re using. (Google obviously agrees, per its shift in rankings in the last few weeks.)

Millennials also want their information — fast. Just the other day, I looked up a local fast-food franchise’s website for its hours, and surprisingly, it was not optimized for mobile devices. The site was designed so poorly that it took minutes, yes minutes, to find its hours of operation. If I wasn’t so hungry, I would have been off that website within seconds. We want our information fast, and when it’s not given to us within seconds, we’re onto your competitor’s website.

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keyboard and hand with coffee cup

Before we get started, I’d like to introduce myself – my name is Giuliano Bellabono, and I’m a graduate from Red River College’s Creative Communications program.

I’m writing a series of three blog posts (including this one) as part of a series called, Reaching the Next Generation. The focus is on helping businesses and organizations better understand Millennials when marketing to them, designing for them, and connecting with them.

Millennials are generally between the ages of 18 and 34 and will soon be inheriting a very big, complicated world from Baby Boomers and Generation X. Millennials are also inspiring tremendous change in how we conduct business and live sustainably.

While preparing for this series, I came across a study by Nielsen. Its study reported that 49% of Millennials prefer to work for a sustainable company. Additionally, 51% will pay extra for sustainable products. By and large, it’s clear that Millennials care tremendously about the future of our planet.

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inside of subway car

For the first time since its inception, Earth Day in Canada will now be a year-long event. Starting on April 22nd, 2015, the national launch will encourage all Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint by 20% by 2020. The focus is on commuting and the Earth Day website indicates 25 different “commuting acts” you can take.

Daily transportation contributes about 24% of Canada’s carbon emissions. To reach this environmental goal, Canadians are encouraged to “Clean Your Commute” by using electric vehicles, public transportation, foot power, or by telecommuting where possible.

Earth Day 2015 marks the 45th anniversary of this annual celebration and nearly 6 million adults and children throughout Canada are expected to participate in special events, environmental activities, and educational opportunities.

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the easy economy sign

On April 16th, Etsy a Certified B Corporation, launched their IPO on Wall Street. They are only the second B Corporation to go public; Rally Software was the first. Some Wall Street insiders were skeptical that a company known for putting people and values before profits could attract the attention of investors, but it did. The initial stock price offering was US$16 per share. After one day of trading, it nearly doubled in value, raising approximately US$2.5 billion. The Wall Street Journal quoted Chad Dickerson, the Etsy CEO saying, “The success of our business model is based on the success of our sellers. That means we don’t have to make a choice between people and profit.”

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