In the office, for about the last week or so, we’ve been Snapchatting each other. Much to my amusement. Unlike everyone else, I’m already an avid Snapchatter. I’ve been using Snapchat since at least 2013, so I’ve watched it grow and adapt since they introduced Stories. Pretty much everyone at work has only just started using it though.
What’s funny is hearing the team ask questions I haven’t really thought about before. Why do you use it? When? How do I take a snap? Where’s my photo gone? How do you add a filter?
This got me thinking about why I use Snapchat…
Snapchat is FUN! It’s a laugh. One thing I guarantee you, if I’m on Snapchat, I’m going smile once I’ve opened the app. Why is it fun? Lenses. Snapchat regularly rotates the lenses that are on offer and are always adding new ones. This is great because you don’t get bored of the options, and can always find a lens that will make you look absolutely ridiculous. Or cute. There are options for both.
It doesn’t have to be perfect
I like it because I can mess around. Snapchats don’t have to be perfect. If I wanna pout, I can. If I want to be goofy, I can. If I want to wear dog ears in my photo, I can. If I want to look like a pineapple, I can. It’s so relaxed. If I want to post stuff to my stories, I can, safe in the knowledge that after 24 hours those photos will be gone. Drunk photos, gone (unless I’ve spammed the save button) and sanity restored by the following day.
I don’t have a big audience on there
I’ve not really noticed this before writing this post, but I think I enjoy using Snapchat because I don’t have a very big audience on there. I only have people I know IRL (that’s short for in real life, for those not in the know). And even then I’m quite specific as to who I accept into my Snapchat bubble. They all know me. Like actual me. Not some constructed version you might meet over on Instagram.
The dog lens.
The dog lens is always available. That alone makes Snapchat #worth.
Embarrassing photos disappear after 24 hours
A great benefit to Snapchat is that even if you take 50 photos on New Year’s and post every single one to your story (definitely didn’t do that…) in the morning you can have a look through, save any decent ones, and know that all the horrific, embarrassing ones will delete themselves within a couple of hours. Likewise when it comes to sending Snaps to specific contacts, they’ll have up 10 seconds to view the snap whilst it’s open, but once it’s gone, it’s gone! Yes, there’s the option to screenshot, but if this happens, you’ll be notified. This, is why I love Snapchat. You can have a whale of a time posting to your heart’s content, and don’t have to worry about ruining your Instagram feed. It’s so relaxed and there’s no pressure like there is with Instagram for example.
You’re not fishing for likes or shares. There is no number game.
Finally, I like using Snapchat because it’s not a numbers game. There’s no fishing for likes. You’re either sending snaps to an individual or private group, or posting to your story. No matter which you do, there are no numbers at the end of it to prove how popular you are. You almost post and forget (unless you go to the effort of saving them). It gives you a break from what’s expected on the other social media platform.
It’s been quite interesting to write this post as I’ve never properly thought about why I’m using the platform. It’s made me realise that I actually really love Snapchat, and hope that despite Instagram & Facebook’s attempts to copy Snapchat’s unique features, it survives and continues to be a happy little place on the internet where it’s not all about winning a popularity contest.
I think it’s also interesting to consider how businesses can use Snapchat, and if they should. Personally, I wouldn’t follow a business on Snapchat. However I can see that businesses might want to consider posting more informal content, such as behind the scenes footage. Snapchat is definitely an option, but I think it would actually be better to use Instagram, and their Stories feature. It’s much easier to build a following on there, and soon they’ll be allowing ads to run between stories. This combined with the ads closely integrated with Facebook, I think that’s likely to be more successful than a Snapchat ad campaign.