In this piece of writing, we are going to learn about the social picture sharing app used by an estimated 150 million people daily. I want to cover the app in so much detail that you will fully understand the app in its entirety whilst keeping the content relevant and interesting for the reader.
The reader, whether they are an old or young (possibly future) user of the app will be able to understand the features, uses and security of Snapchat so that they can use it as the full, fun and free tool that it is.
I am going to cover the following topics related to the app, my goal being helping you to understand and use it, and for you to finish the article more knowledgeable and/or interested in Snapchat. If you would like to read on, you can expect to learn about the following:
- An Introduction to Snapchat
- Founders, history
- Versions of the app
- Snapchat’s features and Slang, jargon, Lingo etc
- Snapchat’s userbase
- Their use of the app
- Uses for the app: Business
An introduction to Snapchat
Snapchat’s logo is (and always has been) a yellow square with a white, outlined ghost in the middle. The ghost featured in their logo can be seen with fun things added, such as a pair of sunglasses of a ‘mortarboard’, a university graduation cap. These are extras added by Snapchat themselves for use within their app or website, or by fans who want to add to the logo whilst using it on their website, app, or image. The extras could be to add variety to the logo, to have some fun, or to look cool, trendy and fun for the predominantly young userbase of Snapchat. It is said that the ghost is to represent the nature of snaps being sent, as they disappear once viewed (but continue to exist in snapchat’s servers).
The ghost is part of the app, which is mostly owned by investors who names (except for the major investors) have not been released. It was founded by three people who were, at the time, studying at Stanford University. Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy created the app and named it so that they could found Snapchat, inc- this would later be renamed to Snap Inc.
Snapchat was created so that users could send disappearing (therefore more private and secure) photos and videos to their friends, with short captions and drawings added beforehand. These features are part of the reason to Snapchat’s success, as there was no app as easy and free- which still rings true today. These features are still included in the app, but many more have been added since. With time progressing and the huge success of the app, users are now able to add filters and location-based stickers and text to their snaps, which can be added to a new feature called a story- a collection of photos the user has uploaded in the last 24 hours.
Filters can change the color of the picture (‘snap’), add location or time based text/images, and more- such as times, current speed, altitude, and new features are being introduced as not only the app, but technology advances. Snapchat takes advantage of facial recognition so that effects, such as tiger/dog ears and a nose can be added which move with the user, turning them into an animal, placing them into a different environment such as a jungle or the ocean, or adding glasses which reflect a random or themed image.
Snapchat has stayed with the times – constantly introducing new features, and (I will write about this in the paragraph regarding business uses) offering powerful advertisements so that it can be profitable for investors, continuing to grow in users, placing its value at an estimated $25 billion. However, stocks for Snapchat are current declining, going down to around $19 per unit from $25 in just a month.
Snapchat can be downloaded free of charge for iPhone and Android from the respective app stores, but it cannot used on a Windows phone. There are no apps for Windows phones, and all third party apps have been removed from the Windows app store. You can download Snapchat from the App store (iPhone) at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapchat/id447188370?mt=8 and the Google Play store for Android at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snapchat.android&hl=en
The Snapchat app seems to run better, with up to date features and more frequent updates on the iPhone app, with Android users being very limited when it comes to filters, new features and app stability. Perhaps iPhones are more powerful and up to date in terms of technology, but it’s possible that Snapchat struggle to keep up with the many variations of and devices using Android.
Snapchat’s features & Jargon
I wrote about what Snapchat used to do, what has been added, and other little features that helped introduce readers to the app and article; and I want to cover each feature in more detail so readers can understand each use of Snapchat. This will help us go through to talk about how the features appeal to the user base, supplying their needs when using a photo sharing app. Readers have to know about Snapchat’s features before progressing through the article, as each feature can be used for business- a use of the app which we will talk about after the above point has been documented whilst covering the jargon associated with Snapchat alongside that.
As we know, the main focus of Snapchat is to share disappearing photos with strangers and friends. The app’s main use is to share photos and now, even videos- and Snapchat has developed and improved their app with that in mind. They appeal to the younger audiences whilst moving forward with photo sharing capabilities, letting those who want to send photos and videos to others using their app do so in more ways with more features- constant updates keeping things fresh and new, the features of Snapchat make it a useful app which brings users coming back.
To add someone on Snapchat, you can click the ghost at the top of the screen whilst on the ‘camera’ section of the app. You can add people by name, unique snapcode (Basically snapchat’s version of a QR code) or by searching nearby users. Adding someone lets you send ‘snaps’ to each other, view each others stories, and send text chats (which still disappear) to each other.
Sending snaps to each other every day builds a ‘streak’- a counter for the number of consecutive days you have both sent, seen and replied to each other’s snaps. With each new add, you have another person to send a snap to.
‘Snaps’ or a snap is the image you send to someone on Snapchat. These can have captions, filters, and disappear when seen. If somebody screenshots your snap, you’re given a notification as sort of a damage control put in place by Snapchat. There is no way of preventing users screen-shotting your snaps, although they have tried to make it more difficult by having the photo disappear when the recipient takes their finger off the screen. To add a caption, tap the screen- to apply filters, scroll left or right on the camera.
Your story is a collection of photos that you upload to a section of Snapchat- these last 24 hours, and you can upload as many as you’d like, putting photos and videos up for anyone (or just contact, if you’ve changed your settings to have it like that) to see. These don’t disappear once viewed, instead they stay on your profile for people to view as many times as they’d like.
Filters are a fun way of changing your pictures- adding beautiful colors, fun effects such as the ‘dog face’ and making your snaps look better through brightness and contract changing filters. Some add colors with a faint layer of color, others change the way your photos look by going the same, but adding/subtracting brightness, sharpness, and other things. There are filters for black and white, sepia, and more are being added weekly.
Some filters let you add a time, speed, altitude and more to your snap. You can add locations, events and other things to your snap by going through the filters- there are usually many variations of each filter for you to explore and use.
By holding your finger on the screen, Snapchat can recognise faces- adding ears, noses and changing your eyes to place you in different environments, or show you as a different animal or person.
Snapchat is primarily used by the younger generation- 14 to 18 year olds use the app to talk to their friends easier, more privately, and with a more personal touch. They aren’t the only users of the app, but they are certainly the largest part of the userbase.
The filters are often appealing to them, being fun animals, places, etc. The snaps are quick, and users can build streaks- something most younger people enjoy (building streaks and numbers, such as snap-score)
The nature of Snapchat, being private and easy, means that the users can send nudes- naked pictures to each other. It’s probably the easiest, fastest and most secure way, and there aren’t a lot of adults doing this.
Snapchat for Business
As the app is easy to use, with potential customers being able to find your name with ease, view your stories whenever they’d like (which can be 24 hour advertisements) and communicate with you, Snapchat is a great app to have for your business. We can expand on this, as having an account and story is free, yet still a great way to gain exposure. It goes beyond the free method of doing it yourself, and through paid advertising, you can show your brand, yourself or your products to millions of targeted Snapchat users.
Why is Snapchat advertising better than Instagram advertisements? It’s simple. The app collects data from its users, which is very in-depth and very useful when they allow business profiles to advertise through them. They offer very precise, cheap advertisements which as always on social media, has a good chance of going viral.