Surely, you have heard of Snapchat? Snapchat is an incredibly popular mobile app on which you can send pictures and videos, called as “snaps”, but which self-destruct 10 seconds after a person views them. You can add a caption, doodle or lens graphic to your pictures as well, if you like.
What’s more, you can create a story over a 24-hour period with a collection of your videos and pictures, which can then be broadcasted to the whole world.
A lot of people don’t understand the point of it all – why send a message which self-destructs in 10 seconds after it is viewed by a friend? Well, if you’re not sure why, ask Snapchat users, most of whom are in the age group of 16 to 29 – the Millennials.
Snapchat has over 100 million active members, of whom 71% (allegedly) are Millennials. Snapchat users send 1 billion snaps daily, on an average, including 400 million stories. So what explains the huge popularity that Snapchat enjoys, especially with young people? Should you take Snapchat seriously?
Yes, indeed. Here’s why Snapchat is so popular with Millennials…
#1: Snapchat is more intimate than Facebook can ever be. The problem with Facebook or for that matter, with Instagram, is that there’s very little privacy on these networks. As a user, you’re always worried about your parents seeing that embarrassing picture of you performing a ridiculous dance with your shirt off after getting drunk at a friend’s bachelor’s party. We know exactly how you feel, but with Snapchat, you don’t have to worry about such things. You won’t have to worry about anyone finding out about things that you would rather stay private. Millennials love Snapchat because it allows them to share crazy and shocking pictures and videos with their friends without their parents finding out!
#2: You won’t feel the same social pressures on Snapchat, as you would on Facebook or Instagram. The problem with Facebook and other popular social media platforms is that there is a lot of pressure on you to put up a show, to act as though you are happy even when you are not, to look great even when you are not in the mood for it. The pressure to be always at your best for your friends and followers on the social media creates what is known as “Facebook Depression”, a new psychological disorder that mainly afflicts young people. You don’t have to worry about that on Snapchat. You can be yourself without worrying about what others would say or think about it. The pictures on Snapchat are real and authentic, they represent you as you are, for better or worse – they are not touched-up or auto-enhanced as they are on Facebook. This makes Snapchat such a cool medium to be on.
#3: Snapchat is an intensely private social network. If you are worried about your online security, this is the medium you want to be on. There’s no fear of being stalked by strangers on Snapchat, only your friends and people you trust can view your snaps. Snapchat takes online security very seriously and has strict guidelines in place to ensure that nothing gets leaked out of the network.
#4: Snapchat is liberating. It reminds me of how it was like 12-13 years ago when I sent my first text. It was a moment I will never forget. I sent my first “snap” a few months back and it is a moment that will stay with me forever. Snaps are very fast and powerful. They are very effective way of conveying your thoughts and the way you feel, without getting judged for it. Snapchat really is a great way to communicate with your friends.
#5: Snapchat is a medium for the young. It is a cool thing that young people identify with and would rather keep for themselves. It’s not something that they really want to share with their parents. It is a part of the youth culture of today, it allows young people to be themselves without fear of being judged for their choices. That explains why Snapchat is such a big hit with Millennials.