I’m not going to lie… Snap Chat confuses me.
Of all the different social media apps I have used, Snap Chat is probably the one that baffles me the most.
When you go onto Snapchat you see an image a friendly looking ghost (Casper much?) in front of a bright yellow background. I have no idea what purpose the ghost serves… is it a reference to all things unusual? Is it supernatural? Is it a homage to Ghostbusters?
I quickly learnt that a key feature of Snap Chat is the ability to send a quick message and it would disappear not long after. Aha. That explains the ghost reference.
For a long while I could not understand why anyone would be interested in something so quick and temporary. Even though Facebook messages and updates can occur at any time, you could always trace the history of the information shared. I guess I like the idea of keeping content.
The incident featuring Teuila Blakely and Konrad Hurrell made me suspicious of Snap Chat’s usefulness. Even though the lewd act ‘disappeared’, someone still managed to record it before it happened. Major social media slaughter ensued. For the record I do not condone cyberbullying of any kind and the negative attention given to Teuila was unkind and sexist.I am not really making a good case for Snap Chat am I?!
One day my good friend Anna showed me how to post a ‘snap’ but I felt totally clueless about what to share. For two months I simply followed other people’s posts and watched their content. Much like Instagram and Twitter, content can depend on your interests, brand, mood etc. Nothing new there.
The big difference with Snap Chat is that it is totally embedded in real time. It does indeed expire, so if you do not view it within a specified time, it disappears. I also like how Snap Chat allows you to create ‘stories’, whereby you can collate photo and video footage and make it as short or as long as you wish. You can also place text and emojis over the photos too.
I recently saw a cool story featuring a guy who ventured through the Tongariro Crossing with some friends. Visually it was stunning and I was impressed with how he cobbled together a quick series of photos (usually only 2 seconds for each) and videos to illustrate the sense of fun on the trip. The dirt, the sky, the alien landscapes, the blue lake, the backpacks. Do I want to do the Crossing? Hell yeah.
That particular story made me realise how powerful Snap Chat can be as a branding and promotional tool. We now tend to have the attention span of a fruit fly, so the ability to consume short punchy content in novel form is key to Snap Chat’s growing success. I have enjoyed how different music events have been showcased using Snap Chat and I hope WOMAD develop great content when I head down to New Plymouth this weekend.
In social media terms I feel I have been slow to embrace the Snap Chat bandwagon, in fact, I am aware of several tertiary providers who use it as a way to communicate with students.
I have made a few Snap Chat stories but have many unanswered questions. Who is likely seek out my profile? Why can I not use existing content in my photo library? Why is the interface so confusing? Why do I even bother? Who cares?
Here is a sample of my lunchtime posting today – just imagine the images each changing after 2 seconds. The only thing missing is a short 8 second video where I do a sweeping shot of the campus grounds.
Stuff it. I will keep playing around with Snap Chat it as it’s kinda fun.