Snapchat Game Teaches Children How to Invest
Snapchat has released an in-app game called StockStars that taps into the financial literacy sector of edutainment.
Last summer, Snapchat launched the integration of ‘Snap Minis’ – third-party apps that users can access through Snapchat’s platform. StockStars is one such offering from London-based investment platform Invstr. The game gives players $1m in fake money to invest in a virtual portfolio that uses real-time data to mirror the real-life stock market. Players can pretend at trading stocks and cryptocurrencies, while using in-game educational resources to study trading jargon as well as the commercial contexts of the real companies at the centre of their fake investments. Players can also challenge their friends to one-minute, one-day, and five-day trading challenges to see who can amass the most profit in a given time period.
Apps like Robinhood (US-based) and Freetrade (UK-based) combined with knowledge-sharing forums like Reddit have made stock market trading more accessible, resulting in a global community of socially networked retail investors. These individual or amateur investors now command nearly as much trading volume as global hedge funds (Bloomberg Intelligence, 2021), and in their masses have brought meme mechanics to global financial markets.
Snapchat users are young. The platform is used by 59% of all US internet users aged 13 to 24 (DataReportal, 2021), meaning StockStars could well be many users’ first introduction to financial investment. Financial literacy is a key skill, but a gamified environment that favours short-term wins over stable growth could be teaching dangerous lessons.
For more, see Unlocking Virtual Economies, and look out for our report on the edutainment boom, publishing on June 8.