Skift Take

Snapchat has expanded its Our Story to cities outside of users' locale to feature nearby happenings, but it needs to be much less random as it grows into a real product rather than a series of experiments.

Travel brands — like many other brands — still aren’t clear if there’s a way to use Snapchat to reach travelers, which is why experimentations with the social sharing service are still few and far between.

Snapchat has turned to curating user snaps into its Our Story product, featuring content from various cities around the world, the latest is Auckland, New Zealand.

Snapchat curated New Zealanders into a 3 1/2 minute collection of 36 snaps filled with songs, Marmite, rugby and hiking Maungawhau-Mt. Eden. The 13th snap featured and extended-play selfie from Deputy Mayor, Penny Hulse that included her plea to visit the city., “Auckland is looking lovely on a winter’s day today. Come visit us, jump out of the Sky Tower, enjoy our magnificent harbor, come visit us, we’d love to have you.”

Hulse confirmed that she had no prior knowledge of the Snapchat‘s city feature, but she was open to a member of Auckland Council’s suggestion in participating because of her role as an ambassador. She said, “I thought it was a great opportunity to showcase our beautiful city.”

No one outside of Los Angeles, New York and London — designated cities that are part of the daily stories — can really prep for their seconds of fame, because Snapchat doesn’t publicize which city will be the next Our Story feature. This element of surprise makes the experience more authentic on one hand, and much harder to measure on the other.

“I think this feature gives Snapchat users a real view of Auckland – through the eyes of our people. All of the snaps added came from our younger residents who were scattered across the region and able to film and photograph our different mountains and landmarks. It’s an organic representation of the city instead of a marketing campaign. I think it gives people are more realistic impression of cities they may want to travel to. We saw hundreds of people on Twitter throughout the day talking about how the Auckland Life event made them want to visit which is a fantastic result!” Hulse said.

Free Daily Newsletter

Sign up for the most popular Skift daily download of news, happening, and headlines in the travel world

Tags: auckland, new zealand, snapchat, social media

Photo credit: Snapchat's Our Story features Auckland, New Zealand. Skift