With so many new social media platforms, I often find it hard to keep up with the newest trends. And while I admit I have my core social media feeds that I continue to go back to on a daily basis, knowing what other options are out there is actually quite important to keeping up with technology, your business, and your customers communication preferences. One of the more elusive applications, for me personally, is Snapchat. So what is Snapchat? How does it work? And what is it’s purpose?

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat was created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown Poste while attending Stanford University. Working on a class project, the three came up with the idea and initially got poor reviews from their classmates regarding impermanent photos. However, in their first blog post, the company describes their mission: “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.” Lets Talk

Selfie fun woman taking photo at beach vacation. Summer holidayUltimately, Snapchat is a photograph and video application launched in 2011. The main factor of the program is that the photos only last for a certain amount of time, causing the experience to become fleeting and requires more of an instant reaction and viewing, as opposed to other social media platforms that post to a time line.

How Does it Work?

Snapchat uses your main camera’s screen as an interface to adjust your flash, snap a picture, add unique filters, manage your unviewed snaps and more. snapchat2After snapping a photo, you can add contacts that you wish to send the photo or video to. Once the snap is sent, the recipient can then go into their phone app and view your message, photo, or video.

What is it’s Purpose?

So what is the purpose of Snapchat and are people actually using it? The short answer is, Snapchat is another form of communication, and yes thousands of people are using it. Snapchat recently updated their platform to include other conveniences such as telling and reading stories. Live chat options with friends, live face-to-face video, and even sending money to friends and family. Here’s a break down of how each category works. About Snapchat

  • Telling Stories – “Stories” are the main content of Snapchat. By snapping a photo or video, you can share that “story” with your friends for up to 24 hours. The broadcast can be downloaded and viewed as many times as a person wants within that time frame and Snapchat will reveal how many views and who has viewed your particular story.Venice,California-Jan 03:Man holding a tablet computer with open
  • Reading Stories – Like sending “stories”, the other side of this social platform is to keep up with your friends through reading their stories. This gives the user a direct way to stay in touch with their friends using photography or video messaging.
  • Chatting – If you are looking for a more personal interaction, the Snapchat does offer the standard on-screen chatting option for users to keep a real time conversation. Messaging back and forth using standard text, or adding the option to include photos or a video with your response gives this platform a bit more flexibility when it comes standard chat functionality.
  • Sending Money – snapchat_moneyIn 2014, Snapchat bought out FourSquare to implement a monetary convenience of sending cash to friends, or even paying bills. Similar to how PayPal works with sending money to and from email accounts. More on How To Send Money

How often and why you interact with others on social media may play a part in whether or not this form of technology is a good fit for your lifestyle.