Snapchat and Not What Happened Last Friday Night

I didn’t jump on the Snapchat bandwagon until a few years ago. I was in one of those weird circumstances where I didn’t have a smart phone until my senior year of high school and because you need to have a mobile device to use Snapchat, I still consider myself rather new to the app.

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What I think works with the app is that I can send pictures and videos to people at varying lengths. If I were a journalist using Snapchat, I don’t know if I would have a personal one or a professional one. Either way whatever I was using I would try and use it to my advantage.

If we look at having a personal Snapchat, we run into the same problem that occurs while over on Facebook, it would be hard to distinguish what is personal and what it professional. So there might be reasons that it is a “private” Snapchat account. Whereas, if you had a professional account you could focus more on the journalism aspect of Snapchat and not what happened last Friday night.

Personally, what I doesn’t think work with Snapchat is the videos. I think ten seconds is a little short to try and say something; you might get cut off or it just doesn’t make sense. Also, if I am a reporter trying to use the story mode I would find difficult that I have to put one part of the story up at a time instead of all at once. I just think that may take away from the story telling. However, what I do think works for Snapchat is the “story” mode. The story mode is great because pictures and videos can be saved for 24 hours, whereas, pictures and videos sent person to person do not last.

Newsrooms are always changing, especially when a new social media site pops up. There is always a need to evolve. There is always a need to move to the next big thing. With that however, comes the pain of learning a new app. Not, only would you be trying to teach people a new app, you would teach them a new way to tell stories.

One thing that Snapchat does well is the “Discovered” area, this is where you can get more in depth stories told. Some good examples are ESPN and Buzzfeed. They always are in the discovered mode and you can see a story and if you want to see more of that story you swipe up and you can get an article.

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Following with my semester long newsroom (NESN) the reporter I have been following there Kacie McDonnell does have a Snapchat as seen on her twitter page.

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A few of the videos from Snapchat she posted on twitter are just her behind the scenes.

Overall, I think Snapchat can be a great tool to use in the newsroom. It is one of those tools that reach a different demographic, a younger demographic. It is a tool that can and should be utilized. Much like how on Twitter you can live tweet an event, the same could be true about Snapchat, you can live snap an event. I think as the younger generation, my generation, grows up, they will be the ones using Snapchat more as a journalistic tool.

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