Once synonymous with teenagers sending risqué selfies, Snapchat has evolved into a social media giant and is now being hailed as the next marketing playground for businesses.

The app now has around 170 million people logging on every day.

On the back of such speedy growth, businesses are starting to take notice.

The four-year-old messaging app might be one of the newest kids on the social media block, but it’s also one of the fastest-growing networks, due to its huge take-up by young adults.

According to Snapchat, 86 per cent of users fall into the 13-34 age range. In addition to around 150 million people logging in each day, Snapchat users now watch 10 billion videos a day – jumping from 8 billion just four months ago.

If your business is targeting young people, you might want to take notice. 

Snapchat has evolved from “that sexting app” to a next-gen communication tool, so if you’re not already familiar with Snapchat, now is the time to get acquainted. I’ve now jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon. It required a short lesson from my 20-year-old friend Matt but now I am hooked.

Snapchat is a mobile app that lets you send public or private snaps of images and video to people from your smartphone. However, unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, your updates (or snaps) don’t stick around for long. Content will expire and disappear after a set time, ranging from a few seconds up to 24 hours.

Snapchat has made communicating more of a game. Its recent surge in user numbers have coincided with the rollout of several new quirky features, including face swap, a dog ears filter, a range of colourful stickers that can be placed onto photos and even a function which lets you vomit rainbows.

This rich media experience can make Snapchat an appealing marketing avenue for the right small businesses. The app can provide an opportunity for brands to connect with audiences in a new and exciting way by creating quick and light-hearted content.

For example, brands can use the app to offer a behind-the-scenes look at a new product, announce a contest or competition, document live events such as a grand opening, launch a new product, offer a sneak peek of the business in action, and send a coupon or discount code.

Businesses have already begun to take notice of Snapchat, including global fashion retailer ASOS which has used the platform to offer discounts to followers.

Closer to home, KFC Australia last year used Snapchat to launch its Double Soft Shell Zinger Taco, with the snaps being viewed 3000 times within the first three hours of being active on the app.

Snapchat is all about letting your brand personality shine through and giving people an insight into your business that they would never usually see. If the demographics are a fit, there are some very compelling reasons to give marketing on Snapchat a try.