By Lina Lintemuth
In this age of advanced technology and constant connectivity, people are always looking for ways to share more of their lives with the world around them. Snapchat provides the perfect platform for those moments that may not merit their own, permanent posts, but still hold relevance to its users.
So, what exactly makes Snapchat so cool?
Personalization is key
Whether it’s a video or a picture, Snapchat allows its users to customize their content however they please, right in the app. Users can add text, filters, draw their own images, use geofilters and utilize any of the emojis that their phone’s keyboard traditionally allows.
Recently, Snapchat has added interactive filters to the app. Once the user allows the camera to focus on their face, several fun options appear on the screen. Some are airbrushing filters, others turn the person in focus into an animal, or have fun accessory overlays. Some of the most popular ones allow users to ‘face-swap’ with the person next to them, or with a picture in their phone. The filters can be used in a still image or played out on video, and the options change daily.
Everyone, or Just One
One major appeal of Snapchat has to do with who sees the content a user creates. The varying options allow the user to be as public or private as they please. Pictures or videos can be sent to the ‘My Story’ function, which allows access to anyone permitted to view that user’s snaps. A ‘story’ can be as short as one second, or go on for hours, depending on how active the user is.
If a snap isn’t meant for everyone to see, a user can send it to a single person, or several selected people off of their friends list. This opens up the possibility for entire conversations to be had on Snapchat via pictures and videos, without taking up tons of space on a phone like saving and sending them through traditional text messaging would.
There’s more than One Way to Snap
While the ability to send and share pictures and videos with ease is, no doubt, a plus, Snapchat offers more than just that. By choosing a specific person on their friends list, users can start entire, written conversations in the chat screen. Users can utilize all of the same emojis and characters they could in text message or Facebook Messenger, on top of the special emojis Snapchat created specifically for their chat platform.
One of the more unique communication features of the app would have to be the ability to video-chat. If two users are in their chat screen simultaneously, they can press and hold the camera button to start a live video feed with one another, just as they would with an app like Skype. This function rounds out the spectrum of useful tools that Snapchat offers to the world of communication and connection.
So, that’s why Snapchat is a pretty cool thing to have. It takes several elements
of communication and wraps them up in a nice, easy to navigate platform, free for
anyone to use. Because of its major impact in the realm of technology, media outlets
like CNN, BuzzfeedCo, ESPN and The Wall Street Journal have utilized it to convey
their messages to a wider audience. Even major, less news based networks like the
Food Network, MTV and Comedy Central have made use of the app. The world is snapping,
so if you aren’t yet, there’s no better time to start than now.
Lina Lintemuth is a student employee in the News Services and Social Media Office of the University Advancement and Marketing division of Ferris State University.