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Perspectives: What’s your take on Snapchat?

Welcome to our content series called “Perspectives.” As an agency, our process centers around affective empathy, where we try to better understand the lives of our brand’s customers, but more so, uncover the shared values between the two entities. And through that process, we need to gain perspective. So, in the spirit of bringing our process to life in a unique way, each week, we’ll present you with a relevant topic and share a series of perspectives from five employees with varying backgrounds.

On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18-34 year-olds in the United States (source) and with more than 100 million daily active users, it’s no longer just another social media channel, in many ways, it’s changing the way we communicate.

Here’s what a few of us had to say.

Elaina Donofrio, Social Content Curator: As someone who works in social, my friends always expect me to know the ins & outs of all social channels, which obviously makes me feel like a super smart social rockstar. But when it came to Snapchat, I was really out of the loop and had to embarrassedly admit to them that I had no idea how to do whatever it was they were asking. I would just watch other people’s Snap stories without regularly contributing to my own. Full disclosure: I still haven’t explored the Discover capability, and I probably won’t do it until I really have to (re: a client asks about it). HOWEVER, ever since Snapchat integrated with Bitmoji (make one, do it), I have been super into Snapchat. I love being able to have my little Elaina avatar in my Snaps! For me, Snapchat is a place I can share something cool or funny that is happening in my life. I’ll probably never be the type of person who arrives some place new and instantly pulls out their phone to check out what the Snapchat geotags are, but you can count on my Snap stories being filled with ironic, Bitmoji-filled snaps. Or cats.

Roland Atema, Art Director: Part of me feels like Snapchat is only successful because of the competition. Everyone’s aunt joined Facebook and it’s turned the majority of posts I see into introspective, or politically charged commentary. Which in small doses is fine, but it’s changed the platform from an everyday sharing tool into a, “My family will see this. Potential employers will see this. I need to show everyone that I stand for the right things” platform. Which seriously takes the fun out of using it. Instagram is starting to suffer from a similar problem, in that the quality of content has become, for some, unattainable. IG makes people feel like they need a DSLR camera to contribute. Or they need facetuned photos of themselves to feel beautiful. Or spicy memes to get a laugh. Point is, when contributing takes that much work, people are going to drop off. To me, snapchat is successful because I can quickly share that embarrassing/funny moment. I can pick the people that see it. I can use it with the people I am physically with. And I don’t need to worry about the life of that photo*. That said, I don’t think snapchat would survive without the instagrams and the facebooks. People still need the gratification of getting likes, and want a curated place to show off their style and individuality.

And yes, snapchat is becoming more like IG and IG is becoming more like snapchat with stories. The only difference is, do I want to filter my photo or my face? So we’ll see how that goes.

Lynn Bomberowitz, Brand Supervisor: Throughout my life, I’ve been the girl in the group with the camera on at all times. My friends count on me to collect the memories and keep them safe for all of us to look back on. It seems that I was “snapping” long before there was an app for it. I captured it all – from silly faces and meals, to moments that may seem insignificant to some but meant something to me.  To me, Snapchat encourages everyone to live the way I always had been. It’s a quick and fun way to provide a glimpse and get a glimpse into people’s real lives. The great, good, bad and ugly. For the most part, snaps aren’t as filtered, perfected or thoughtful as what we see on Instagram and Facebook – they’re moments in time that mean something to us – moments we want to share without the pressure of likes, comments, etc. I’ve actually found that looking back on my saved snaps is significantly more nostalgic for me than looking back at any of the posed photos I have in my camera roll. It’s like a living scrapbook – and that’s pretty cool.  And, bonus – who doesn’t love seeing themselves as a dog or a bee from time to time?

Scott Madden, Sr. Partner/Director of Strategy: SnapChat’s broad appeal is driven by its ability to fulfill 2 very basic human needs in our evolution of P2P social communication: the emotional expression and personalization via pics and graphics makes it a far more colorful and intimate form of texting, but far more powerful than that, it’s the gone-in-an-instant nature of the platform that enables the celebration of human imperfection. And THAT’S the most empathetic (and entertaining) form of communication!

Courtney Desmond, Senior Media Planner: I use Snapchat to show friends what I’m doing in the moment, things I find funny that cross my path, and of course, to take selfies with the ever changing face filters that are available. I sometimes use Snapchat in lieu of a camera, and save the snaps that I take to serve as photos later. I see Snapchat as a live feed of culture and news today –  How else could you see behind the scenes videos of The Golden Globes, Presidential Debates, The Olympics, and any other party you weren’t invited to, all in real time?

Photo: AdamPrzezdziek via Flickr

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