SnapChat can boggle the minds of many parents and older adults (and by “older” I mean past the age of 18). Why is this social network so popular, and why are kids flocking to it like people past the age of 50 collect friends on Facebook? Here’s what you don’t know about SnapChat, and why you may just be the next person to download the app.
Why It Was Created
No social media network has really figured out a way to make video effective. Instagram tries, but most Instagram videos are choppy and not really that interesting (plus, they only last for a few minutes). The founders of SnapChat (founded by a group of 20-somethings) wanted to give people a way to create short videos or collections of images that could be passed around and shared - and then quickly disappear.
Any image or video that’s sent through SnapChat only lasts for a matter of seconds, and after that time the image has disappeared from the system. What’s the point of this? Well, it was originally used to send risque photos from one user to the next without any remaining evidence that those photos ever existed. But then SnapChat added a feature called ‘Stories.’
SnapChat’s Stories last a little bit longer than the average SnapChat photo. These stories are really a montage of various SnapChat clips, and they can showcase someone’s entire day. For example, if you are attending a popular party and you want to take photos during the party, then put those photos together, and then send the photos to your thousands of SnapChat users, you can do so quickly just by hitting the send button.
After some time, that entire Story will disappear, but those people in your loop will have seen the amazing party you went to, the people you saw, and the things that you did while you were at that party. It’s a way of showing those within your circle what you did, and not showing anyone else. So why do kids love SnapChat so much?
The Appeal of SnapChat
SnapChat happens now, in the moment, and it can’t be fabricated. There are no filters or ways to airbrush SnapChat photos. Whatever you take a picture of now is what will appear in your SnapChat feed, and it’s what will be sent to your many followers. You can’t make this stuff up, and that’s what teens that are tired of being lied to via other social media sites love about SnapChat. It’s also why Facebook is losing a lot of its younger audience to SnapChat.
Will you like the app if you are over the age of 18? That depends on who you want to send disappearing images to, and why you want to send them. If you wanted to gather a social media following, all you really have to do is create interesting stories through the app, and you could be an instant celebrity. But you may find the app frustrating at first. It is, after all, geared towards a much younger crowd.