Have you ever heard of the term “Insta-famous”? Or are you familiar with any of the currently active Youtube sensations? Sooner or later, the word “Snapchat-star” will enter a revolutionized list of vocabulary because that is indeed where the future is heading with this revolutionary app.
We live in a world where people spend more time looking at their smartphone screens rather than engaging in their formerly enjoyed pastime hobbies. We can’t go out for lunch without Instagramming a photo of our food, or using an endless number of #hashtags to Tweet about our #amazingbarbecue #yum #todiefor. If we don’t have our phone in our pocket, in our bag, or next to our bed even for a couple hours, we start to get anxious.
Currently, over 22% of the global population possess a smartphone. In addition, other popular social media networks are getting more and more usage from mobile devices. As of February 2015, Facebook brings in 68% of its profit as a mobile device, Twitter at 86% and Pinterest an astounding amount of 92%. Thus, these mobile-based social media applications are becoming the future for how we connect with each other and share our experiences in an interactive fashion. And now, there’s one more rising star of the smartphone app industry: Snapchat – the fastest growing mobile application since 2011.
Snapchat is a clean and simple photo messaging application where users can take photos and videos and send them to their friends. On each photo/video, called “Snaps,” users can even draw pictures with their finger, type captions, and add fun emojis on the screen. Then, after the snap is created, users are able to set a time limit for how long the recipients are able to view them (from 1-10 seconds). The special kicker to Snapchat – the key feature that sets it apart from any other social media app – is that after the recipient views the snap, it is officially gone and deleted from Snapchat’s history forever (which basically equals to extreme privacy; a more entertaining way of text messaging).
Many reasons are behind why Snapchat is such a growing revolutionary boom of the technological world, such as its simplicity, customizable ability, photo/ video option, instant messaging, complete user engagement, and more. These features all lead to the creation of the term “Snapchat star,” which commercializes many of the lives of the app users, just like Instagram and Facebook. This is because users are now able to obtain random “followers” who will be able to view all of their “Snap Stories.” Now, you are able to send your snaps to a bigger audience than just to your private group friends, similar to the concept as being able to have “followers” on your personal Facebook page. The whole thing is just like a tech-savvy blogging experience – yet all at access within only your fingertips.
Live Stories is yet another feature the mass media is going crazy for. Basically, it is a curated stream of user submitted Snaps from various locations and events, all gathered together so that anyone in the world with the app can view them. Users who have their location services on at the same featured event location of the week will be given the opportunity to contribute Snaps to the Live Story. Therefore, the end result is a mass collection told from a wide community perspective, offering a exclusive behind the scenes point of view, told very much like a story or one giant video.
The bottom line is this: this app is a great way to enhance your technological knowledge and add a fun new twist to your contemporary collection of mobile applications. As of today, international Snapchat users exist in over 135 countries worldwide. Also, Snapchat is the #1 mobile application on the iPhone app store in 13 countries, and #2 in 15 others. There is no doubt the app will continue to grow, just like the beginning stages of popular social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr, and many more. As each one started off within a small portion of the American demographic, Snapchat contains the absolute full potential of spreading to all corners of the globe.
– Ashley Kim (’18)