The first generation of social media touted “networking”, but the next generation, raised in always-on connectivity, will embrace ephemerality and digital tribalism. Those users will abandon the major social networks and migrate to more granular mobile villages with simpler ecosystems. They will follow a small circle of close friends on Instagram, pin with a small handful of followers on Pinterest, message with a girlfriend or schoolmate on WhatsApp or Snapchat, or follow a co-worker’s check-ins on Foursquare. Or, they will build the next platforms and apps that don’t exist yet.
Sounds like the rise of the curated interest graph.
The paradox of Snapchat is that the content lasts seconds but the screenshots lasts forever. In other words, Snapchat thrives off the misconception of private-sharing. While the ease of ugly content sharing makes the platform fun, the content all of a sudden poses a risk when it can be shared out publicly to the rest of the web. Congressman Weiner would’ve run into the same trap on Snapchat as he did on Twitter.
Naturally, Snapchat promotes the privacy portion to its users and the Stories feature to brands which tend to share everything publicly anyway. This way Snapchat can hook users as the anti-Instagram while scaling its community through brand partnerships all at the same time.
Snapchat is private in theory but not in practice. Snapchat downloads and saves content just like the NSA does, compiling data so that one day advertisers can target its users. Yet, the users don’t seem to care about this mirage of privacy as along as it keeps them away from Mom and Dad and the permanence of shared content as on Facebook. The spontaneity of snapping an unedited life makes the Snapchat social network unique but leaves its users vulnerable. Anonymity sounds good right about now.
Snapchat is ridiculous. Like Instagram, it makes you see the world around you but focuses less on an edited environment and more on jokes.
What makes Snapchat really fun are the add-ons: the emojis, the doodle option, the speed and time stamps. The filters are ok but unnecessary since your story doesn’t need to be perfect. At the end of the day, you just want your friends to giggle.
In short, don’t overthink Snapchat. The images shouldn’t be perfect but rather conversational. Remember that you’re chatting through images rather than text. Here’s one from my walk home last night that I published to Stories.
Snapchat name is bombtune
Instagram and Snapchat are different mediums for storytelling everyday life. Knowing when to Instagram and when to Snapchat goes back to your intentions and depends on your environment.
Personally, I think Instagram first, or photo first, as I’m always in exploratory mode. I’ll switch to Snapchat-only when I just want to have more fun. It’s worth noting that Snapchat is more real-time than Instagram since the app constricts you to capturing and publishing in that moment before you can move on to the next Snap.
Life is about beauty and laughter. Instagram and Snapchat go together to reveal both a perfect and unedited life.
Om Malik on the recent movement away from Facebook’s centralized way of doing things:
You can see this cycle through the entire history of the commercial Internet. The original web was so sparse (but also so slow to navigate) that Yahoo was started as a guide of worthwhile sites because it wasn’t easy to flit among web pages. Yahoo’s directory proved popular, and sensing opportunity, the company added all sorts of new features: search, chat, email, stock tickers, sports, news, personals, e-commerce, and photos. By the late 1990s, Yahoo had become the grand aggregator, its pages as cluttered as a Canal Street stall. This created an opening for Google, with its bare-bones home page that held only a search box and company logo. With the rise of broadband, which made it easy to jump around, the web became disaggregated and brought with it focused, functional tools such as Skype and YouTube.
Fast-forward to today and replace Yahoo with Facebook. Facebook showed us the value of aggregating all of those small chunks of information, including photos and status updates, that we wanted to consume on the now dynamic and interactive web. That single string of updates, known as News Feed, was a brilliant product that powered the company’s rise from 2006 to 2011. Then along came Instagram and its peers, born for a generation that doesn’t know how to live without an always-on connection. They facilitate new online behaviors that have been invented for a world of touch and mobile. These apps were designed to be great at just one or two things. The tech world had swung back to being simple, lightweight, and fast—at precisely the same time that Facebook feeds were becoming so bloated and complicated.
Instagram Direct didn’t kill Snapchat. In fact, it solidified Snapchat as the preferred private sharing network for spontaneous sharing.
Instagram has established itself as a platform for an edited life. Sending a friend a bunch of quick, shitty pictures taints the main account. It also lingers.
The fundamental tenet of Snapchat is that your content disappears. It’s as simple as that. Snapchat’s business challenge is in developing ways to further innovate that private, ephemeral experience.
Instagram is for the curated life. Snapchat is for the imperfect life. It’s as simple as that.