Social media's ephemeral content: Now you see me, now you don’t

 Ephemeral content includes images and videos that are only accessible for a brief period. As a marketing strategy,

it is temporary content  that takes advantage of the concept of fear of missing out or FOMO

and is designed to elicit immediate response from the user.





It all began with Snapchat coming up with a social media platform where posts are temporarily seen and then disappears after 24 hours. Initially, I thought that this concept in social media wouldn’t flourish but on 23 October 2019, Snapchat has reached 203 million daily active users, according to the Zephora website. Even the world’s most successful social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, have adopted this concept.


This kind of content is called an ephemeral content, the opposite of an evergreen content where the post stays in the platform forever. So, what is it that makes a user so hooked on ephemeral content?


One, maybe it’s because of the concept of “walang forever” (forever doesn’t exist) which many millennials believe in.


Two, according to a number of articles talking about ephemeral content, customers have this fear of missing out, more popularly known as FOMO. There are several scenarios which prove this – Black Friday, 11.11, 12.12, and the like. During these occasions, prices drop and discounted prices lure buyers into making multiple purchases. The advent of online shopping apps has also made it easier for customers to instantly fill the shopping cart. This trend has attracted marketers into devising ways to create ephemeral content for their target customers.


Three, according to a blog by Larry Reed, one possible reason the ephemeral content became such a thing is that the contents represent similar qualities that millennials share –  contemporary way of living, quick, transient, and restless. Most millennials like to live at the spur of the moment. That’s why live video chatting and video live streaming became a thing, too. Majority of the Internet users are millennials, and the spur of the moment ephemeral content puts the millennial users on edge, not wanting to miss a moment.


There is a lot more to know about ephemeral content, which could be an interesting topic to talk about in online marketing classes. With conversations on the topic, we would be able to understand more the audience’s behavior and come up with more responsive marketing strategies. – Joei Beatrix Bautista







Print   Email