You’re Looking Snappy Today

If you have teenage and pre-teen children, like I do, then you know all about Snapchat. If not, chances are you haven’t heard of it. Or, maybe you’ve have, but you don’t really understand what the hype is all about. We’ve covered selfies, photo bombing, memes and hashtags, and now it’s time for another edition of Mary’s technology teachings:Snapchat

First, let’s back up a little bit. In the beginning there was Friendster. But then, MySpace came on the scene and Friendster died out. Then, Facebook conquered MySpace. Next came Instagram, which was quickly bought off by Facebook for $1 billion dollars. Enter Snapchat.

At first, Snapchat wasn’t teen-friendly at all. It was an app for taking and sending naked pictures that would disappear and not linger forever on the internet the way that other social media posts do. But after a while, Snapchat widened its uses and its platform, quickly becoming the next hot thing in social media.

Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion, but Snapchat refused. Why would anyone refuse $3 billion dollars? Because the mobile app is already worth upwards of $10 billion today.

SnapchatHere’s how it works: Snapchat allows you to send pictures and videos (called snaps). You can then add a caption or a doodle or a lens graphic over the top and send it to your friends. (Face-swapping is one of those lenses.)

Here’s the thing that makes it so different from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: Your friends can view snaps for only up to 10 seconds and then the message will self-destruct.

Alternatively, you can add it to your “story”, a 24-hour collection of your photos and videos, which you broadcast to the world or just to your followers. It’s essentially a daily log and a way to let your friends live your day with you. A story lasts 24 hours and then disappears.

Show me the money: Snapchat partnered with Square to launch Snapcash in 2014. By linking your debit card to the app, you can pay for goods or simply send money to friends.

Here’s why Snapchat appeals to young people: Teens are the largest demographic of users, but the app is catching on, and more and more adults are using it too. (In May 2014, users were sending 700 million snaps per day). What’s that I hear you asking? “Why would anyone want to send brief pictures or videos to friends if they can’t be saved?” (Note: you can get around this feature by taking screenshots of your snaps and saving them in picture form.)

“That’s exactly the point!”, fans explain. It’s live. In the moment. And there’s a sense of urgency because the snaps and stories disappear. It’s the only social media platform that mirrors real life. There are no photos with pretty filters, no perfectly edited videos. Just as in real time, it’s a brief interaction that happens and then disappears.

That’s all well and good, but some of these snaps are just too creative to let disappear. Thankfully, someone out there has been taking screenshots of some of the best ones. Enjoy!snapchat














Happy Monday,