In today’s digital day and age, people have many different ways to communicate with one another. Facebook took the world by storm with its instant messaging, and millions of people still Tweet their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to friends and family. While you may not be paying much attention to Snapchat, a service that allows users to send photos back and forth nearly instantly, you should. Here’s why.
From Sexting to Politics?
Honestly, in Snapchat’s early days, it was primarily a “sexting” tool used by twentysomethings. Individuals could converse with the app, and they could take photos of themselves, caption them, and send them off – instantly – to friends, family, and even complete strangers as long as they had a username. Recently, former CNN reporter Peter Hamby, who is now Snapchat’s head of news, announced that the company is gearing up to report on the election, of all things. It turns out that Snapchat is becoming quite the thing, and you should be paying attention.
Snapchat and Journalism: Friends or Foes?
Whether Snapchat’s journalistic venture actually takes off depends on a number of factors. For one, the company is hiring a team to help cover the 2016 presidential election. This team will take submitted “Snaps” and turn them into news stories for users to read as they see fit. While it seems like a great idea for building the company, consider Tumblr, which also started a journalism department of sorts only to shut it down a year later. Even Facebook thought about hiring journalists, but decided against it a while later.
Platforms and News Consumption
These days, all companies are trying to figure out how the mobile market delivers content to smartphone users of all ages. People consume snippets of news all day, every day, in various forms. Some may catch a peek on TV, and a few may even hear a story on the radio, but most people these days consume their news stories directly from their phones. As such, incorporating journalism into existing applications just seems like a good idea. Whereas Tumblr and Facebook decided against it, Snapchat has something going for it – it is brand new. Most people have no expectations of the app, so should the team decide to incorporate journalism, people will accept it with open arms.
Pay Attention to Our Story
The most fascinating aspect of Snapchat is the “Our Story” function, where people can create stories with photos and video clips to share with the rest of the Snapchat community. It seems simple enough, and of course, there’s already YouTube, but Snapchat does it differently. During major events like earthquakes, tornadoes, and maybe even presidential elections, the potential exists for these things to go viral – one of the best marketing tools available in today’s world.
In a nutshell, do not overlook Snapchat as just another sexting app or communication tool. Instead, try to see it as a brand new way for young mobile users to consume their daily news. In time, Snapchat might just be the brand new way to disperse the news to hungry youngsters who want to know what is happening in their world.