Is Snapping a fundamental communication act?

I stumbled across the book Origins of Human Communication by Michael Tomasello recently. Michael talks about human pointing and pantomiming as two fundamental gestures. Here are few insights on human Pointing described in the book:

Pointing is a fundamental human gesture:

  • we share with apes; works without relying on language
  • that’s a complete communicative act in itself
  • that directs attention to something spatially in immediate environment
  • that’s inherently visual
  • about here and now; leads to joint-attention
  • seen across cultures as lip-pointing, chin-pointing and index-finger pointing

SnapChat amplifies “pointing” by relaxing the constraints of being at the same place at the same time. It is designed to be a natural extension of our hand to enable us to live and communicate (pointing) at the same time. Just like we did it with our index fingers for ages. It also preserves the ‘pointing’ experience for the recipient by way of a timer on the message sent.