Now you see me, later you won’t: Snapchat
Snapchat is a very popular social media application used by over 150 million people each day, especially by the millennials. Snapchat was released four years ago and yet, it has surpassed even Twitter by the number of daily active users.
I own a snapchat account and I created my account a few years back. To be honest, I had difficulty understanding how Snapchat works when I first used it. I wasn’t the only one who experienced this. I also heard a lot of people said that they didn’t know how to use it. It wasn’t the design that was confusing. It had an established branding, with cute icons, pleasing colors and a minimalistic layout. People were confused on how to use it. Some people don’t get it why their photos or the photos they receive don’t get saved, can only be viewed once and only for a limited amount of time. This led a lot of people, me included, to not use Snapchat for a while.
Despite the confusion on how to use it, Snapchat kept on improving their interface and adding new features that would engage users to use Snapchat more. One of their prominent features is the Snapchat Stories. This enables users to post photos or videos to their Snapchat Stories that would be available for 24 hours with unlimited times of viewing. Personally, I like this feature because this allows me and my friends or followers to be updated with each others’ lives. People were fond of this feature, especially during travels. A number of celebrities and famous personalities have Snapchat accounts, such as the Kardashian-Jenner sisters, Ariana Grande and a local favorite, Nadine Lustre. Some well-known sites or pages also have accounts, such as The Artidote and Mashable.
Since Snapchat is very well-known with millennials, a witty article was published on how to use Snapchat for the non-millennials.
Although Snapchat already has over a hundred million users, competition still arises. Since Snapchat is a multimedia sharing app, it technically competes against sites or apps that has that exact same function to post and share photos, such as popular social media sites, Facebook and Twitter.
Periscope is one example of a prominent competitor of Snapchat. Periscope is a live streaming app straight from your device. It also enables people to be updated instantly with just a click of a button. Periscope can also be integrated with sites like Twitter.
Also, Instagram just released a new feature lately called Instagram Stories. It basically functions e x a c t l y the same as Snapchat. Instagram Stories can also allow the user to doodle on the photo and/or add text above it and can only be viewed for a limited time as well. Although Instagram rolled out this new feature, a lot of its active users was disappointed by the update because they think that Instagram just copied Snapchat.
The Snapchat Verdict
Snapchat might have a lot of competitors, but it still stands strong and showing no signs that it will die down in the next few years.
Despite Snapchat’s feature of having limited time for viewing snaps, the upside of it is that it doesn’t overwhelm followers. Personally, I would like to view photos or stories in one go. One time (or at least the 24 hours limit) viewing is already enough for me. This is to avoid posting too many photos or videos in social media. In this case, it also protects the privacy of the person using it.
Snapchat has a lot of unique features! One of which is the filters. The Snapchat filters changes each day but users are fond of using them. These filters have face detectors that would allow you to dress up your faces in one tap. Also, people are also using these photos as their social media display photo. People can easily detect photos that is edited with Snapchat filters.
Another fun feature are the geofilters. This is perfect for different cities or tourist spots. It does not just promote or give awareness of that place, but it is also pleasing to look at. A lot of artists or designers submit their own designs to Snapchat, for a certain city or place. A lot of places in the Philippines has geofilters, not just malls and cities, but also provinces! However, anyone can send their designs to Snapchat. Geofilters are also used for events.
Lastly, Snapchat has their own sets of stickers. These are mostly hand drawn and they also update these based on major events, such as the recently concluded Rio Olympics. They also incorporated an app called Bitmoji that allows a person to create and customize their own stickers.
In the long run, Snapchat is very promising. As long as they keep rolling out features that would delight their users and actually get more users, they would stay fine, or even exceed expectations.