Snapchat: Reinventing the Way We Get News
I was definitely one of the skeptics who scoffed at Snapchat when it first came out, thinking it would disappear as fast as its ghostly meme. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In case you’re unfamiliar, Snapchat is a mobile-only application where people can share instant photos and videos, their personal experiences and emotions in real time. The network’s founders call Snapchat content ephemeral because it literally disappears after 10 seconds of being viewed. Recently, the platform added “stories,” a collection of “snaps” and video that can be viewed for 24 hours. This has turned the network from a solely private one into one of great interest to brands.
Today, Snapchat has an estimated market value of $16 billion. The Pew Research Center projects that Snapchat has 26 million active users. Of that number, 70 percent of Snapchatters are female. The majority are between 13 and 25 years of age who share, on average, 400 million snaps daily. The video sharing platform allows users to post “snaps” – quick 10 second-max videos, which can be incredibly powerful in telling a news story from a very personal perspective.
As a news platform, Snapchat is making its mark through crowdsourcing through its Snapchat Live Stories, and it’s quite impressive. This platform curates snaps (its “Discover” platform partners with twenty news and entertainment media outlets to create customized content) and as such, is becoming a force to be reckoned with. In a Live Story during the San Bernardino, California shootings, Snapchat curators selected snaps from nearby users and inserted text to explain what was happening. If you watched them, it felt as if you were there. The Snapchat “story” was pulled together over time from users who were near the attack when it occurred, with images and videos that users had uploaded. This created a live stream of vivid photos and clips from people who were near the shooting location and included behind-the-scenes images of police activity, as well as shots of the wounded being airlifted away.
Do you regularly use Snapchat to get news? Share your experiences here!