How long until you Snap?

It’s been years since the now famous social network launched for the general public; but it wasn’t until this last years that Snapchat became a mainstream app, used world-wide by millions of people. There is a lot of controversy around its uses, and whether it is a useful tool for communication, or just an attention-drawer that makes us waste most of our lives in our phones. Continue reading and join me to discuss why, as I see it, Snapchat has the potential to be an amazing tool.

Firstly, nowadays communication is a key for success: reading news from another countries, learning online, and even getting to know other cultures by interacting socially with people from other countries take an essential role in people’s personalities and the decisions we make.

Many people use WhatsApp for communication, others use emails, and some people even send letters to one another; and it is this constant communication which I believe can benefit us.

So, what sets Snapchat apart? Why would people send temporary pictures when they can send messages, images and videos all in a single app? This is where I think millennials play an important role.

We grew up with technology, the evolution of phones, cameras, and the internet itself. If you go site-seeing you will most likely run into millennials taking pictures with their phones, trying to share every single moment with their friends, and that’s normal for us: we are hardwired to do so. When we see something we like, we are most likely to try and take a picture of it, just before posting it on Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

Snapchat targets this, Snap Inc. has created a platform that enables us to share every single moment in our days in just two clicks. And what makes it more appealing is its most misunderstood feature: photos get deleted after a few seconds.

So why is this such a key feature for us? Everyone will have its own reasons, but I believe it is because it enables you to be silly. I can send a picture of me with a funny face without having to worry about the receiver saving and sharing it with others. This freedom lets us express more freely and enables us to make more personal interactions, not having to worry about how well we look, for example.

Moreover, Snapchat also plays an important role in informing and keeping its users updated on important news. Recently they launched a new feature that enables newspapers and other famous magazines to post animated and interactive news, articles and videos.

The key here is that while many may consider this app a distraction in our daily lives, the people at Snap Inc. also make sure you check out some of the latest things so you don’t miss out.

On the other hand, it might be considered that people, specially teenagers, spend too many hours on their phones sending pictures on Snapchat. This if far from being true: a small group of people are addicted to the platform indeed, but they are far from being a majority and, as I see it, there’s nothing wrong with spending a few hours chatting with other people, instead of introvertedly playing games at one’s home. Of course, it’s always better to go outside; but in a world like today’s, in which going out is not as common as it used to be and distances are considerably bigger, having the possibility to see and hear your friends so casually and often, and its benefits, shouldn’t be glossed over.

Taking everything into consideration, I’d say Snapchat has taken a really important role in millennials’ social lives; and will eventually reach older generations like Facebook did, let’s just hope this doesn’t make millennials migrate to another app when parents start to invade their social circles; or maybe let’s hope so, just think about it: what new social networks could emerge from that? And what new things could they include?