Monday, March 16, 2015

Killin' that Snapchat Game

Two weeks ago was spring break, and I was able to spend half of it in beautiful, warm Los Angeles; where even though it rained it was still a million times nicer than the frozen tundra of the East Coast. A little while after landing, I opened my Snapchat app and noticed a new story on my feed called 'LA Life.' I quickly realized that the story only appeared because I had my location services allowed, and was specific to the city of Los Angeles area. Even better, any snap I took I could upload to be considered for show in the story, for the entire city to see. I assume that some computer or team of people looks at all these snaps and picks the best for the story, so it was even cooler when my first snap actually appeared in the LA Life story about 30 minutes later. I had obviously picked something that I didn't mind everyone seeing, and it was cool to know that so many people were really going to see it. Snapchat has had these stories, native to a particular area or event for a few months now, but this LA Life story seemed to just exist there perpetually, as a place for all the 'Snapchatters' of LA to share their stories. I was disappointed (for many other reasons, too) to return to Philadelphia and find no such story for our area.

Snapchat has also introduced a new idea called geo-tags in the last few months, where they have preset filters that can be overlain on your pictures. Based on where you are, there are filters customized for that area. For Philadelphia, you can overlay the word 'Philly' in a bright, sparkly font. In Los Angeles, there were tons of different geo-tags, even for different districts of LA; there were two specific just to the Santa Monica Pier! They have also added ones that tell the time or temperature of where you are, as well as how fast you are moving. As a form of social media, Snapchat has rapidly become the most fun to use platform, as well as the most customizable. And, Snapchat has done it without really appearing to most people as a form of social media, but more as a means of communication, a means that is becoming integral to many people's daily lives. I know I always checking out all the Snapchat stories, from people I know to all the featured ones. There have been featured stories from the New York Fashion Week, from huge concerts and festivals like Tomorrowland, and just everyday life ones like the LA Life story. Snapchat has been doing everything right, and I believe will become the biggest social media platform.

Questions or comments about Snapchat? We would love to hear from you in the comments section!

This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a junior at Temple University and the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. You can follow him on Twitter here or on Snapchat at bbqpringles. 

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