This is why we love Snapchat (even though we’re not teenagers)
Snapchat has snuck up on Twitter like ninjas in the night, overtaking their number of users for the first time, despite many people still not having a clue what it’s all about. What started out as a niche network for teenagers, with a USP of the images disappearing after they had been viewed, has now hit the mainstream in a way few predicted.
If like us you’ve become smitten with Snapchat’s evolving features, rapidly growing celebrity database and engaging channels then you’re not alone. The platform now has an estimated 150 million daily active users who have made checking into the app a part of their daily routine. It’s amazing to think of that figure, 60% actively contribute content too resulting in around 8 billion views a day. A staggering achievement after just five years in existence.
It’s no wonder then that brands and media are increasingly choosing to engage with their audiences on Snapchat, adapting their content to suit the channel’s quirky, ‘youthentic’ interface. Cosmopolitan’s Snapchat Discovery Channel hits an average 19 million views per month, while Buzzfeed says 21 percent of the company’s traffic is generated on Snapchat and Taco Bell’s paid-for lens was used 224 million times.
So what’s driving everyone to Snapchat? This is why we love Snapchat (even though we’re not teenagers).
1. Snapchat Live Stories
These are ‘as-it-happens’ videos curated from users in the same location or that are posting photos and videos on the same subject. These span everything from major events like the red carpet at The Oscars and Premier League matches to what people are up to on St Patrick’s day and offer intimate and insightful clips into events and locations you’d otherwise never have access to.
2. Snapchat Discover
Stories from editorial teams such as Cosmopolitan, MTV, The Sun, Sky News and Vice. Their mix of videos, photos, and doodles give users a daily download of the news, features stories and that oh-so-important celeb gossip – all in bite-sized chunks.
If you’re not on Snapchat then it’s lenses are probably the thing you’ve probably seen or heard of the most. After scanning your face (by holding down your finger on the screen), you are gifted with a whole raft of ways to change your appearance. The ‘doggy’ face has become a profile pic favourite of many and we urge you resist the tempting ‘face swap’. Brands can get in on the action too – see Cadburys – but they come at a hefty cost.
So you’re in Vegas or Blackpool (depending on what your budget is like) but how on earth will your friends know? Well, Snapchat filters overlay your photo or video with geo-tagged, location based illustrations to tell everyone exactly where you are – if you want to that is. McDonald’s were one of the first brands to use this feature commercially, allowing users to add branded images to their snap whenever they were near a McDonald’s location.
5. 24-hour rule
Post a photo or video to your personal story (your timeline if you will) and poof! after 24 hours it’s gone forever. It even tells you if one of your sneaky friends tries to screengrab something you’ve posted. Private messages are deleted almost instantaneously, so if your sharing anything particularly risqué it’ll be gone as quickly the person can view it.
6. Celeb stalking
More and more celebs are joining Snapchat, giving us an intimate and personal look into their everyday lives you just can’t get anywhere else. We pretty much know the entire ground floor layout of Kylie Jenner’s house (she has 30million followers) and oh we’ve practically taken a bath with Justin Bieber, they just feel more relatable, like they’re our friends on Snapchat – how else would you party with Rihanna on holiday?
7. Level playing fields
Unlike other platforms there are no public likes, comments or followers displayed creating a level playing field, where you’re just as equal to your friends and competition to appear more popular than them is avoided.
8. Getting creative
From doodling to cookery shows and magicians, users are getting creative and the first raft of Snapchat influencers are emerging as a result. Users like TristanTales have mastered the art of storytelling on the platform, organically growing a huge following and is now working with brands like Coca-cola and Red Bull.
9. Giving your friends the finger
If one of your friends is on a 4-minute rant about how their housemate stole their cheese, you can give them the finger – by tapping the screen it will skip parts of their story and by swiping left you can move on to the next person entirely. Goodbye annoying friends.
10. Vertical video
Vertical video doesn’t quite seem right when you first use it but somehow it just works and you get used to it. In fact, Snapchat (along with Meerkat and Periscope) is being credited with raising the profile of vertical video, for example, YouTube claimed a 50 percent increase vertical uploads in 2015 while publishers and advertisers are also experimenting with the format. Why? It’s actually as simple as people not bothering to rotate their screen. No really.
Now that we’ve given you the essentials – follow Fever’s Snapchat: Feversnap for some truly remarkable/ridiculous/at-time-hideous #content from us (see below for a taste of what is to come).