I belong to Gen X and touch the border of a Baby Boomer. We’re clearly not the demographic using Snapchat. Of course, as a communications professional, it’s my job to learn, understand and be able to help my clients when they ask questions about new social media channels and apps. If you go to the Snapchat website, it says, “Snapchat has always celebrated the way that you and your friends see the world. It’s fun to experience different perspectives through Snaps, Stories and Our Story.”
However, if you really want to get the “inside scoop” on this quickly growing mobile application, just ask a 20-year old. I did this same exercise a few years back to learn the difference between Tumblr and Facebook. I’m lucky to have the 20-somethings in my family and they are always happy to share their insights. As avid Snapchatters, here’s what I learned when I asked two simple questions … What do you like and what don’t you like about Snapchat?
What do you like about Snapchat?
- All of my friends have a Snapchat. You can pick people to send your Snaps (multiple people at the same time). It’s the new Instagram. I Snapchat all day long, and I check Instagram occasionally.
- I can update people in real time, it’s a great way to communicate. Even when you’re in another country, far away from your friends, you can still feel close, reaching them in a group, all at once.
- I use Snapchat because you can post photos and videos and they don’t have to be permanent. You don’t have to put a lot of thought into the pictures you’re posting. For example, Instagram is more like the highlights of your life or the best moments; it’s an archive. But, Snapchat is done within seconds. I consider Snapchat as a part of my daily
- I like being able to see events as they take place. There was a whole stream, including Snapchat videos and photos of celebrities, at the Met Gala. It was really cool to see famous personalities through Snapchat, because they appear more like real people. For example, watching Beyonce walk down the red carpet. It’s different when you see in a her Snap. It’s the high-quality photo camera which perpetuates the “above us” feeling.
- It’s cool that celebrities are on Snapchat, so you can see what they’re doing, when they post to their Stories. I’ve added a couple of my favorite personalities and I look on their Stories to see what’s going on in their lives.
- It’s important to remember that Snapchat is not pre-planned like Instagram and Twitter. You just do it!
- What’s cool … if I’m doing something or I see something that reminds me of people, I can Snap it and it lets my friends know that I’m thinking of them. We feel more connected, like when you have an inside joke and no else knows about it.
- I also like looking back on my Story for the day, reminiscing about what I did.
What don’t you like about Snapchat?
- The “weird” random brand pages. For a while Snapchat felt like an app that wasn’t infiltrated by advertisements (i.e. Cosmopolitan, ESPN, McDonalds). Recently, it feels like an invasion. I just don’t pay attention to these pages.
- I don’t really like brands on Snapchat, because it’s about real people. Snapchat encompasses more of a real-life vibe. so a brand being a part of that contradicts why I actually like it.
- However, if I were to actively add a brand (by choice) on Snapchat, then I wouldn’t mind seeing an invitation to an event or a promotion on their Story (this only lasts for 24 hours). Just don’t send me anything directly. A Snapchat is like a text and I wouldn’t want brands texting me either.
There you have it, right from the Millennials who use and love Snapchat. So when you’re thinking about Snapchat, think about real people and the real-life vibe. If brands want to fit in, then they have to be human and show how they have something to share on their Story that fits the lifestyle, culture and needs of the 20-somethings, who consider Snapchat a part of their daily lives.