Twenty-four-hour stories, face-filters, digital magazines and disappearing conversations, you know what I’m talking about; Snapchat.
Over the past few years Snapchat has received quite the makeover. What was once simply a messenger app to send and receive disappearing photos is now a sophisticated communication device which offers a unique perspective to the rest of the world.
I’ve been a snapper since the apps initial jump in users back in 2011. Since then the wizards behind the magic of Snapchat have continued to stay one step ahead of the rest of us with their seemingly endless updates.
One such update which completely changed the game was when they rolled out Stories, which allowed users to compile and post a live stream of pictures and videos for all of their friends to view.
These personal stories have become the heart of what makes Snapchat the beloved app it is today. Each user’s story is essentially a short episode of their life, available to be viewed for 24 hours before vanishing forever. These temporary snippets allow users to see a realistic side to their friends’ lives.
Since what you post in your story is viewable for only 24 hours, people are much less hesitant to post anything and everything they are doing because nothing they post is permanent. This is the beauty of Snapchat.
My personal favorite feature of the app is Live Stories which are live broadcasts of events going on all around the world. Snapchat receives a multitude of submissions by those who are in whatever area or event the story is covering and compiles them into a cohesive story available to every Snapchat user.
These stories give an unedited taste of what life is like in different cultures. I find these stories leave me more educated about the world and filled with a bit of wanderlust.
Along with Live Stories, Snapchat added digital magazines to their assortment of videos available. These include names such as Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Vice, ESPN and many more who compile their own story of what they feel is relevant while staying consistent to what they represent as a media outlet.
The evolution of these magazines has been interesting to watch. First they started off as being displayed at the top of a user’s dashboard with the magazines name inside a colored circle. It was a unique new addition but not one which was widely used.
Then Snapchat pushed them to the side, literally, and created a separate page for them which could be accessed by swiping to the left of everyone’s stories. If this was done to try and increase viewership, it surely achieved the opposite.
Finally, they recently updated these magazines so they are back on the main page but no longer are they confined to uninformative bubbles. Now they are presented more like a magazine display at a store with headlines and pictures.
At first I laughed at their new attempt to entice viewers, but then to my surprise found myself reading many of the headlines and pressing them to view more. After a few days with this update I can conclude that this new approach is definitely working.
By far the most beloved update however is the face filters. This feature which morphs faces and turns users into puppies has further enhanced the fun of using the app and exponentially multiplied the different ways users can express themselves.
Although this certainly doesn’t cover all of the features of the app, because honestly there are just too many, I think it is fair to say that Snapchat users cannot wait to see what comes next.