5 uses for Snapcodes in your newsroom

Can Snapcodes improve the news stories you create? Paul Armstrong, author of Disruptive Technologies, gives ideas on how to use Snapcodes in your newsroom.

Way back in 2015 when the world was...different, Snapchat introduced Snapcodes to a pretty lacklustre response.  Now Snap has upgraded the handy visual QR-code style technology to enable anyone - read you - to use them to send people anywhere.

Snapchat has created a new in-app tool, along with one on the web, to enable anyone to create a Snapcode.  You can set up your Snapcodes on the web as well as your mobile (both iOS and Android are now enabled) and here are the guidelines,don't worry...it's an incredibly short read!.  Have fun before more rules and regulations apply. 

Once created, the image can be saved and used anywhere for Snapchaters to go to your site or any URL.  There are, of course, lots of uses for these codes other than simply directing traffic. Snapcodes offer newsrooms a direct route to a demographic that is redesigning the news experience, so start experimenting:

1.    Give stories depth

My biggest bugbear with news today is depth. I read something and want to know more but...Outbrain and other algorithms surround it with irrelevant rubbish.

Perhaps a Snapcode that says"Would you like to know more?" that links to a longer piece, a Twitter hashtag or curated content.  The world is your oyster...snap back the trust. 

2. Get Voting/ ask for Feedback

Let's be honest, print doesn't get a lot of feedback.  Snapcodes could really add data in this area.  "Snap to tell us you want to see more of this". The link could go to a voting page that also features a targeted ad or survey

3. Simpler Sharing

Using your own URL shorteners is a smart move (trust, ease, direct analytics) but a one-click-to-tweet is also a great idea to make content go further - use ShareLinkGenerator to create them.

4. Make money

Micropayments could be easily enabled with Snapcodes.  Apple Pay and other mobile biometric products could be used to unlock content, donate money or even tip writers directly.

5.Timed-offer subscriptions

Using Snapcodes can make events seem more fun and add an interactive element.

I see a smart newsroom creating a new, news "time" using Snapcodes.  Creating a flash news update using ultra targeted digital display campaigns, SMS and other mechanics to gain subscriptions.

Look at Twitter and Cheddar[1] to see how these platforms can redefine your products and offer you big new playgrounds.

Beyond these five uses there are of course a lot more uses for Snapcodes that I listed here which may also work for your setup.   One thing is for sure - organic views using Snapcodes are there for the taking - be bold and experiment.

This article does not express the views of Reuters. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author.

[1] Cheddar is a live news network covering tech, business, and media


Related Features

Facebook has been under fire for how it describes itself recently along with its handling of trending topics and showing (or rather not showing) specific content. Below are five such tools that newsrooms can use, with clear strategies that offer new ways for outlets to grow audiences and find new ones, find new revenue streams and minimise risk:

Facebook’s more recent significant change to its newsfeed that means all publisher content will be deprioritized in favour of content from people users know, also called user-generated content. Look closer, is it just a case of your traffic going down?

Launched in March 2014, Reuters claims to be the first multiple live service for online publishers. But it won’t be the last, as Tessa Kaday, who runs the desk at Reuters Video News, predicts that “this year we are going to see an explosion of live content online”.

Every once in a while you come across an app that is pitched to you in one way but you can see a lot more potential another way. This might be the case for Look-App.net, the app that lets you ask anyone to be your webcam - imagine a livefeed from Hawaii or front row at a basketball game in San Francisco.