Snap recently rolled out its popular “year end” story for Snapchat users, which highlights a Snapchatter’s best memories of 2018. But the company’s app has also had a number of highlights itself for the year, according to a Snap spokesperson I spoke with.
Lenses and Bitmojis ruled
Lenses led the pack in 2018 when it came to one of the most used features in the Snapchat app, with the Snap spokesperson saying “augmented reality and our Lenses continued to take one of the most central roles in the Snapchat experience.” Specifically, the crown of butterflies was one of Snapchat’s most popular lenses with users. Other popular lenses included the smiley mouth Lens and the aerobics dancer Lens, which allows users to put this face on an ’80s-style acrobat. As for its World Lenses, the roaring dino was tops.
The company’s free desktop app, Lens Studio, which allows developers to create custom Lenses, has seen “well over” 250,000 Lenses submitted by devs. Those Lenses were viewed over 15 billion times by Snapchatters.
Bitmoji, the personalized emoji app that Snap bought back in 2016, continued to be one of the most popular apps in the App Store. It came in sixth place in Apple’s ranking of the top free apps of 2018. The favorite new Bitmoji was the sad girl, and the favorite new Friendmoji was dog poop. As for fully outfitted Bitmojis, the most popular “clothing” trends were Fall and Winter couture.
The biggest stories in Snap Map
Snap Map continued to be a wildly popular feature with users in 2018. Snap Map allows users to post based on their location, which people can view on a map. The Snap Map hub has turned into a repository for where young Snapchat users frequently first hear of breaking real-time news.
The biggest Snap Map events of the year involved, sadly, school shootings. “We had extensive coverage of one of the biggest movements impacting young people this year–the global March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018,” a Snap spokesperson said. “Two weeks before that, Snapchatters across the United States submitted public Snaps of the nationwide high school walkouts against gun violence on March 14, 2018.”
Other popular Snap Maps events included the migrant caravan’s trek from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border, which “dominated the Snap Map for months,” and the recent Gilets Jaunes protests in France. Hurricane Florence and the Camp and Woolsey fires in California also saw heavy Snap Map activity.
Getting out the vote
The Snapchat app also helped get young people to go out and vote. The company spokesperson said more than 400,000 Snapchat users registered to vote before the U.S. midterm elections in November through a partnership with TurboVote.org, a nonpartisan voter registration site. The places where that partnership was most successful were in key battleground states like Texas, Florida, and Georgia.
“On Election Day, Snapchat drove 1.4M people to nonprofit partner site Get to the Polls, which helps people locate their polling place,” the Snap spokesperson said. “We did this by integrating their site into our app and through experiences like the Snap Map, Filters, and mass Snaps.”
What’s most striking about that number is that the Snapchat app accounted for over 40% of total visitors to the Get to the Polls website on Election Day–more traffic than was sent by popular apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.