Unlike Facebook, Snapchat doesn’t give users the ability to share content permanently, create “Posts” or “Like” content, but does that mean that Snapchat isn’t social media? Many people call Snapchat social media, but some disagree, so we’re going to use this post to get to the bottom of it.
Launched in 2011 and created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown (all former students of Stanford University), Snapchat is defined by Wikipedia as “a multimedia messaging app used globally… known for representing a new, mobile-first direction for social media”. The Cambridge dictionary graces the platform with, “the name of a social media service for sending pictures, messages, and videos that are only available to be seen for a limited amount of time”.
Snapchat states on its website that “We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.” And their tagline tells us that Snapchat is “The fastest way to share a moment”. With this info, we can say that one of Snapchat’s functions is to facilitate communication between users.
As for features, users connect with each other via “Snaps”, “Stories”, and “Streaks”. “Snaps” are photos that can be sent from one user to another, but that disappear after an allotted time (about 10 seconds). “Stories” are where multiple photos are displayed to a user’s “Followers” for up to 24 hours before they disappear, and a “Streak” is when two users send snaps back and forth for several consecutive days, earning them special emojis as rewards.
What’s the Verdict?
Let’s look back at our definition again.
Social media is;
1) A website, app, or electronic communication 2) That facilitates communication between communities, groups, or personal relationships 3) And allows the sharing of, and/or interaction with content such as videos, photos, and other information for personal or corporate uses.
Combining all of the info we’ve gathered, we can say that Snapchat is an app (fitting criteria 1, that lets people have fun together (i.e., facilitate relationships), while sending pictures, videos, and messages (i.e., sharing content), effectively categorizing Snapchat as a type of social media.
So How Can I Use Snapchat for Business?
When it comes to business, Snapchat can be a great social media platform for certain types of brands, but it is not for the faint of heart.
As of March 2019, statistics say that Snapchat is used by 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds in the US. Although there are some older users, this platform is home to one of the youngest demographics, meaning that businesses wanting to use the platform really have to “keep up with the times”, as they say.
With Snapchat’s “Discover” feature, brands and influencers can publish content and gain a substantial following from the platform’s 229 million active daily users, but it’s wise to know what you’re doing before really diving in.
Overall, we believe that Snapchat is definitely a type of social media, and with the right knowledge, it can be a powerful tool for businesses.
To view the next post in this series, “Is Skype Considered Social Media?”, click here.