Snapchat – what’s the fuss all about?

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The social media platform Snapchat, beloved and utilised by mostly millennials and generation-Z, has been valued at around 16 billion dollars (you do the maths). While not quite as popular as Instagram and Facebook, there is certainly something to say for this innovative app. Find out why:

How does it work

While it does have a cornucopia of settings, apps and possibilities, it is based on the following principle:

You take selfies (called snaps), which are able to be processed through a filter (changing various aspects, such as resolution and colour) and can have written messages on them. A snap disappears in a few seconds once it has been viewed by the Snapchat recipient you have sent it to. The recipient can replay the snap once in ten seconds, and reply with a ‘Snapback.’ While the app usually left snaps to be replayed for 24 hours, it recently customised its policy to let snaps linger.

You can also create “stories” – a series of photos of your daily activity, which are all able to be filtered and inscribed with customised messages. A story expires after 24 hours of being posted.

The app also features video calls, ‘Snapstreaks’ (an emoji showing users which other users they have engaged with continuously over a longer than 24-hour period) and lenses (a feature that allows users to add sound and visual effects to images).

Users can see who has added them and add whoever appears on their suggestion grid.

So what’s the hype?

Out of a business perspective, advertising. Snapchat implemented “Discover” in January 2015. It’s, simply put, a ‘follow’ tool that allows advertisers to promote and publish masses of short-term content that appeals with Snapchat’s enormous young-aged audience (around 100 million daily users).

 

It seems the allure of instant gratification appeals to millennials for reasons which they themselves might not be able to explain.

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