In case you haven’t heard, Snapchat is dead.
The once-golden child of social media has fallen hard over the last few months, and it looks like we’re now witnessing its last dying breaths. While it would be nice to be able to point to one nail in the coffin that really signed the death note for Snapchat, it’s been an amalgamation of events that have led to the app’s demise.
While it’s sad to see another platform go the way of Yik Yak, Vine, Periscope and countless others, you might be wondering, what does this all have to do with HR?
As with most things in life, there are connections to be made with HR all over the place. You can liken many of the aspects that have caused Snapchat to fail with many of the aspects that cause HR to fail at times. Check these few downfalls of Snapchat and the lessons HR can learn from them in order to avoid its own failure:
The introduction of Instagram stories.
It was the beginning of the end. As soon as Instagram, an already domineering social media force, came into Snapchat’s domain of disappearing snippets from people’s day, what hope did the underdog have? Especially when it seems Snapchat had no plan in place for a reaction to Instagram’s introduction of stories?
And therein lies the lesson for HR: stay ahead of the curve. I’m not saying you have to fall in line with every HR trend that pops up, but don’t be afraid to take in the trends that make sense for your team, and to think proactively. As an HR team, you’ll be more productive and less likely to face failure.
A failed update.
As Snapchat was trying to find its footing after Instagram upended it, it started releasing multiple updates. Most of these were odd updates (see: the map function that was released), but none shook Snapchat to its core. Until February 2018. A complete restructure of the app’s story functionality threw many for a loop, and has already driven users away.
Lesson number two for HR: if you’re going to be reactionary after falling behind the competition, think long and hard about all the ramifications of that reactionary change. The biggest problem with the Snapchat update was that it made the app less user-friendly. Keep your employees in mind when making a big change, and don’t default to making a change to shake things up. Make it meaningful, and make sure it makes the job easier.
Kylie Jenner’s tweet.
In a purely monetary sense, this was the final death knell for Snapchat. On February 21st, 2018, Kylie Jenner tweeted, “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” Less than 24 hours later, Snapchat lost 1.3 BILLION dollars in stock. That’s billion, with a B.
What’s the lesson here? You can’t lose buyout from your major players. You’ve got to work to keep employees happy and engaged because you never know when a keystone person is going to start speaking out against you and turning the masses.
I’d love to see Snapchat turn it around, but at this point, it’s not seeming likely. There’s still hope for your organization, though. Learn from their mistakes to prevent your own.