Monday, July 14, 2014

Is Snapchat the Next Social Media Platform?

When you think about social media nowadays, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram probably come to mind first and foremost. And you wouldn't be wrong, these 3 giants have dominated the world of social media for the last few years. But, as technology and trends evolve, we must consider new and different forms of reaching our publics.

For the last year and a half, a picture messaging app called Snapchat has taken college-age students and younger by storm, becoming one of the most popular apps in mere months. Snapchat allows you to send a picture and just a few words to your friends, for a maximum of 10 seconds before it disappears. You can also do the same with videos; and recently Snapchat introduced 'Stories', their version of a news feed. Stories allows a user to post a picture, video, or series of both for all their friends to view for 24 hours. It's this news feed-esque function that makes Snapchat viable as a social media platform.

Yesterday, during the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany, and in the hours leading up to it, Snapchat surprised everyone by adding a story called Rio Live to every user's story page. This Rio Live story was constantly updated throughout the day by the company, using curated user's images and videos from Brazil regarding the game. By watching this constantly updated story, people half the world away, like myself, were able to watch the game from the front row, or even from some of the players' perspectives. Watching the end of the game from so many unique perspectives was so much better than just watching it on TV, and this capability shows how Snapchat stories can be used.

Snapchat stories, and even just sending out mass snapchats to people, are a sure way to get recognized. Even receiving a snapchat from someone you don't know, most people are going to open it, simply because they believe it will be gone after a few seconds. This can become a great way to tell college age demographics about products, services, or a way for trends to get started. Snapchat used to just consist of a picture and some words, but now the trend is towards Instagram-style pictures, with filters, emoticons, drawings, and different fonts. Snapchats are becoming more complex, people have even made movies out of them, showing the potential for even more uses.

This is the Snapchat logo, named Ghostface Chillah. 

What are your thoughts about Snapchat or other emerging social media platforms?

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