As I was saying, I don’t really use social media like I used to, but earlier this year, Harper’s Bazaar featured my Snapchat as one to follow. I’ve been seeing a lot of Lists - a lot of confusion - about the app lately, so I thought I’d suggest why it works (Not how it works - this isn’t a tutorial).
  1. (This List is condensed from my article, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” which also breaks down my top Snapchat tips and 5 to follow: )
  2. Disclaimer: My friends tease that I own part of Snapchat because of my advocacy (Snapchat even gave me a geofilter over our office). I don’t. I just think it’s right for right now. Because:
  3. First, think of Snapchat as a text-messaging app.
    For anyone who lives overseas or has international friends, you appreciate Snapchat’s larger advantage in the social network space. The U.S. is the only country fixed to traditional stock messaging apps, whereas the rest of the world is Kakao’ing or Line’ing or at the least, Whatsapp’ing. Snapchat is - at its most fun and functional - a texting app. I get most of my communication natively through direct snaps.
  4. It’s more human, less corporate.
    Which also makes the engagement that much more intimate. When I directly reply to you in the middle of a story, it’s as if you’re watching a reality show and Kim Kardashian tells you she likes your new hat. It also makes it kinda complicated for big business to advertise to you. When was the last time you FaceTimed McDonald’s? Or iMessaged Coca-Cola? Snapchat is about personalized interaction.
  5. Parents just don't understand.
    Paid advertising didn’t kill Facebook. Aunt Margot and her banana bread recipes did. The cool kids retreated to the dark corners of their phones and devised their own secret society: an impregnable fortress of right-swipes, screen-grabs, and self-destructing notes that baffle the most savviest of Social Media Coordinators.You know what it’s like trying to watch your dad program the 3D Blu-Ray player? That’s what it’s like watching a 28-year-old on Snapchat. Can't figure it out? That's the point.
  6. Snapchat is Limited Edition
    Snapchat’s disappearing act confuses anyone who’s accustomed to social media’s open-diary arrangement. Crazy how we’ve forgotten that our lives were once contained in selfish bubbles: our thoughts to ourselves, our cappuccinos to be privately consumed. Or that phone conversations and TV shows used to disappear once finished. Having grown up in a culture that memorizes their every embarrassing step, the youth cherish privacy and ephemerality more than their attention-seeking parents.
  7. Cont'd...
    With Snapchat, everything is 1 of eventually-none. The urgency makes everything more special. My favorite part: As fantastic as Marketing can get, nothing beats fostering a trend through word-of-mouth, which is all that Snapchat allows. Without anything permanent to share, the only way to pass on something remarkable is by personally telling a friend. The mystery is maintained and the story becomes almost mythical — larger than life. The most elaborate memories are those that go unpreserved.
  8. The naked, first-person film narrative (no, not like that. I mean).
    There's no margin for editing, post-process, or preferred angles. There are barely any filters, you can’t upload a public story from your library or implement 3rd party effects, so What You See Is What You Get. = NO FAKE-FUNKERS. On social media, you can beautify your photographs and copy-edit your words into masterpieces, but on Snapchat, all you’ve got is your uncut personality and some colored pencils to draw with. Raw. Real. And it’s the most “authentic,” the buzziest of branding buzzwords.
  9. You get to choose what you want to see, instead of being forced to look at it.
    Entering a quiet room where you get to choose which friends to listen to and potentially respond? Instead of having them shout at you all at the same time? Mindblowing. Sounds as good as real life. You forgot how much you missed the autonomy, huh? TAKE BACK YOUR PHONE.
  10. It’s egalitarian. It’s liberating. And it celebrates diversity
    There’s no popularity index (you can’t see follower counts), so there’s less emphasis on celebrity. Instead, content is king. Because there’s no comments board and crowdsourced thumbs-up approval, you’re more inclined to take yourself and the sharing less seriously. You’ll take more risks, venture outside of your comfort zone; your posts become less formulated around what the world wants, and more aligned with your individuality.
  11. Oh.
    Yeah there's also that dickpic thing. It's very real. The amount of titpics and nude selfies girls message me is staggering, almost depressing. One problem we don't have here on List!