Ephemeral Content

Find out what Ephemeral Content means - in online marketing. Click and read more.
Paulina Rysz
Customer Success Team
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What is Ephemeral Content - Definition

Ephemeral content - is a type of digital content creation that is only available to the audience for a limited time, after which it disappears and becomes inaccessible. It is a popular form of social media stories where content such as photos, videos or posts are automatically deleted after a set period of time, usually 24 hours.

Content marketing

Characteristics of ephemeral content strategy

Ephemeral content is temporary and by design has a short life span. It is a deliberate strategy to elicit an immediate response from the audience and increase engagement. This content is often perceived as more authentic and less directed, which attracts users' attention, and encourages them to interact.

Table of contest

Platforms using ephemeral content

  • Snapchat: The first platform to introduce storytelling-based ephemeral stories that disappear after viewing or after 24 hours.
  • Instagram Stories: Allows users to create content that disappear after 24 hours, which has become extremely popular with users.
  • Facebook Stories: Similar to Instagram, it offers a social media story that allows users to share content that disappears after 24 hours.

Examples

  • Instagram Stories - this is one of the most popular forms of ephemeral content. Users can post photos and live stream videos that are only visible to their followers for 24 hours. Stories allow users to add different effects, text, polls or links, making them an attractive tool for dynamic and interactive communication with their target audience.
  • Snapchat Snaps - Snapchat is a pioneer in ephemeral content. Users can send photos and short videos (snaps) that disappear after being viewed once by the recipient or after 24 hours if added to a 'Story'.
  • Facebook Stories - similar to other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook allows users to create temporary content that is available for 24 hours. Users can share moments from their day, events or special offers.
  • WhatsApp Status - is a feature on WhatsApp that allows users to post statuses in the form of texts, photos, videos or GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. It is a way to share moments with your contact list in a more private setting.
  • Twitter Fleets - although Twitter ended this feature in August 2021, Fleets were Twitter's response to the popularity of Stories. They allowed users to publish content that disappeared after 24 hours, which was a novelty on a platform focused on short text forms.

Advantages of  post ephemeral content

  1. Increased user engagement - the ephemeral marketing encourages users to check for updates more quickly and frequently so they don't miss anything important.
  2. Building a sense of urgency - the short-lived nature of ephemeral content creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Users feel they need to respond quickly, which can result in more views, likes, comments and shares.
  3. Authenticity and spontaneity - ephemeral content is often seen as more authentic and less directed than traditional posts. They allow brands to share more spontaneous and human moments, which can help strengthen relationships with audiences and build trust.
  4. Reducing content overload - because ephemeral content disappears after a set period of time, users do not feel overwhelmed by an overabundance of information and the content that does appear is seen as more valuable and newsworthy.
  5. Experimenting with content - ephemerality gives brands the opportunity to experiment with different types of content without a long-term impact on their online image.
  6. Reinforcing privacy and discretion - for users who value privacy, ephemeral content can be attractive because it disappears after a short period of time.

Summary

In summary, ephemeral content is a dynamic tool in digital marketing that, despite its challenges, offers unique opportunities to build engagement and intimacy with audiences.

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