Let’s talk about Snapchat

Snaps to friends not in Athens yet (earlier this year)

Snaps to friends

What is Snapchat? Snapchat is an application that allows you to take pictures or videos, add text or drawings, and send them to one friend or a chosen group of friends. The photo or video, known as a “snap”, disappears after a certain amount of time (0-10 seconds) or after the video plays.

When talking with others, I discover that most individuals hold a negative opinion of the Snapchat app. A classmate even teased me for bringing it up in conversation with a faculty member. What’s the big deal? I think the negative opinion results from a tendency to associate the app with sharing R-rated photos. There are fun and beneficial ways to use this app in communication with friends in your everyday life. Taco Bell is even using the application. In case you have not tried the Snapchat app yet here are a few ways you can use it:

  • Stay in touch with friends and family: this summer, my graduate school cohort was all over the country at our summer internship sites. Some of us used Snapchat to send pictures about our work. It was an easy way to communicate and tell quick stories about what as going on.
  • Workout accountability: want to prove to your friends that you are at the gym? Or check in with your accountability partner via technology? Use Snapchat! Send pictures from the gym or after your run to let your friend know that you worked out today.

    After-run snap!

    Workout snap!

  • Outfit advice: send snaps of your outfits to your friends if you are having trouble deciding what to wear.
  • Programs and competitions: University Housing at UGA has a green points competition going on and I heard that some communities are sending snaps of them engaging in “green activities” to get points. The picture is not saved to a camera roll in this instance and it can be a quick way to have a competition.

Recently Snapchat created “Snapchat stories”; a story is shared with all of a user’s friends for 24 hours. Snapchat stories are comparable to a Snapchat timeline. This is allowing friends to share messages with everyone instead of sending out what might be considered a mass snap.

I have not used Snapchat with students for an organization or activity, but the housing green competition example might be a way that the app can be used for competitions or other programs on college campuses.

Do you have other ideas for how to use Snapchat? Add them in the comments! With 350 million photos shared daily, it’s worth learning about…