Zero Eleven: Snapchat groups

What’s the deal?

This topic has long been something I’ve wanted to address and I’ve been careful not to jump into this too soon for worry that I might miss something obvious (I still might) plus it’s given me a few weeks to really analyse this feature of the Snapchat app, to watch how people are using it and what people think that they can get out of it.

Snapchat, at the best of times, is extremely fast paced, and not only that, people are craving our attention more than ever before, but the new Snapchat groups facility has sent some users into total meltdown where the obsession to be seen and heard has reached new limits.

Lets get in to it.

So what exactly are Snapchat Groups?

Following several search updates (depending on where you are in the world, some work and some kind of don’t), the ability to create your very own Snapchat group was recently introduced and it enables groups of friends to converse in a similar way to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, however, since it’s inauguration, they’ve become nothing short of a free for all.

How Come?

It’s very easy to see how it’s become so overwhelming for moderators. Rather than starting small and gradually growing groups which are easy to police, it seems that moderators have decided to add every one in their list. Maybe a snap or two in the beginning was used to explain the purpose of the group (along with the group rules) but the sheer volume of snaps from users within the group has meant that rules have been continuously bent (or broken) and moderators have been forced to either shut down groups completely or they’ve been made to look like they’re trying to put out a forest fire using one hand held fire extinguisher. In summary: impossible.

There must be some plus points though, surely?

There are, and when used correctly, it can be an invaluable discovery tool in order to find lots of people from around the world. If you find a snapper who’s particularly engaging or interesting, a simple tap of the top left hand corner of the screen enables users to be added from within the story which is an amazing feature which I’m surprised Snapchat hasn’t made more noise about. This feature also eradicates the need to try and remember usernames or having to continuously screenshot snapcodes. One tap and the option to add is right there in front of you.

Another great thing that I’ve found is that I’ve been added by lots of members of the groups I’m in which is great as I’ve been able to expand my audience, although, there’s no guarantee that they stick around, especially as I currently add back every who adds me.

Those sound really cool though. So what's the beef?

People have tried to become part of lots of groups in order to try and accumulate people who add them. I mean, this is ok, I have no real grudge against you if this is your tactic, but irrespective of what the group has been set up to do (as in why it’s been set up in the first place), the easiest and LAZIEST method of them all is the duplication. Ring any bells…? 👇🏼

Hear me out. I’m not trying to throw shade on this person. I’m merely pointing out a common observation which greets me pretty much every single day. This shows the mentality of how people now treat Snapchat groups. Most people decide that instead of introducing themselves and being entertaining, funny, or interesting, they’ll throw out the ADD ME message and use it across different groups. I just don’t see how this tells people who they are. Instead, it comes across as a total lack of imagination and a total disregard for what that particular group has actually been set up for.

So are groups a total waste of time?

No, they’re not. Lately, I’ve been having some in depth chats with my friend Des Herbert about the way in which Snapchat groups can be used to great effect and here is our top five list of how to get the best out of Snapchat groups…

  • If you’re considering starting a group, have a clear idea about what the group is about.
  • As an admin, post regularly to remind members of the group what your rules are and be clear that anyone who breaks the rules will be removed. You’re not there to stop people having fun but regularly monitoring content within the group means others in the group will continue to enjoy coming back to it.
  • If you’re getting involved with posting content within a group, firstly introduce yourself and make yourself known to the community. Thereafter, grabbing peoples’ attention is key. Stick to talking about what the group actually focuses on and be inventive as skip rates will be much higher than usual.
  • If your message is simply ADD ME, give people a reason to do so. If you have a skill, a talent or knowledge that you’d like to share, work out a way in which you can convey that in ten seconds. People will add you because of the intrigue you create and not solely just because you ask people to. Once you can condense your skill/talent etc into ten seconds, be creative and post variations of this across different groups. Also, make sure that you have content on your story at all times so that if people find you within a group, there’s more to see on your story.
  • If you’re going to start a group of your own, start small and grow gradually. This way, you can get some great feedback on how people are finding the group and what they’d like to see more/less of.

I hope this has been useful and it’d be great to find out your involvement within them. Are you an admin? Do you post with a group or several groups? How are you finding them? Get in touch!

[ #PTFAD ]

Let me know your thoughts on this blog post. You can find me across the internet via my website (or search for me by typing: thisisABSORB into your favourite social media platform).