Snapchat is an innovative tool for Journalists unlike any other social media platforms in the world today. The first version of Snapchat, then called “Picaboo”, was created by Evan Spiegal and Bobby Murphy during their time at Stanford in 2011. When the app was first launced as Snapchat, Spiegal wrote, “We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap” (Bernazzani, 2017). After being on the market for a full year, Snapchat was responsible the sending of over 20 million snaps per which is equivalent to 25 snaps per second. That number has grown over the years, and today there are over 10 billion views of snaps per day. These numbers alone display the massive impact Snapchat has had on the world since its formation.
Recently, Snapchat has added features that have generated buzz among users. Most recently, Snapchat has changed their settings to where users are able to auto-play the snaps of the users they have selected individually. This has allowed users to tailor content specifically to their tastes. Towards the end of 2016, Snapchat also introduced a new feature that changed the interface of the app. This change was a group messaging feature that allowed users to send pictures and videos to specific users. These pictures are deleted after 24 hours much like the Snapchat story feature.
These changes have made Snapchat a very beneficial tool for journalists. Journalists are able to generate content to their readers specifically. News outlets like Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed and Esquire are able generate content for readers daily. These are news stories that are specific to Snapchat readers. Through this platform, these outlets have been able to generate buzz and tap into a market that they have previously not entered into. Journalists and social media practitioners are also able to post stories via their specific brands’ accounts to give viewers an inside look into the brand whether it be a clothing store, magazine or restaurant. As an editorial intern at Modern Luxury, I have seen first had how Snapchat is useful to publications. For instance, the publication JEZEBEL has its own Snapchat account where editors are able to post content that is relevant to the most current issue on newsstands. Being able to give an audience an inside look past the news is how organizations able to set themselves a part from the pack in today’s journalistic culture.
Snapchat has been an innovative tool that has changed the way social media is used in a relatively short amount of time. The company is constantly coming up with new and exciting features including filters, stickers or caption options that help to keep users interested. Journalists are also able to employ the use of these extra options when reporting news stories, whether they be soft or hard news, and this alone sets Snapchat apart from other social media outlets as a news tool.
Source for info and statistics: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/history-of-snapchat