This article is probably too long for the generation graduating from college and the one below to finish reading. For a generation of people in need of immediate gratification and news in headlines form, it makes sense that an app like Snapchat would take the reins on delivering us our news and pop culture information.
Snapchat, which was originally released in September of 2011, has transformed drastically over the years. The app’s original intent was to present a way for people to send nude pictures to each other without the possibility of it ending up on the Internet. The senders set a time limit, a number of seconds, the viewer could see the picture before it vanished. The viewer couldn’t take a screenshot; the picture was “gone.” It was a personal and clever app. Then the update came out that allowed users to draw on the pictures and take screenshots, which immediately removed any sort of privacy aspect, and became an app for friends to send funny pictures to each other. The ability to take screenshots is the turning point. All of a sudden users could send videos, and written messages: Snapchat had become the next big thing. Let’s be friends on Snapchat became as common a phase as what’s your Instagram name.
Celebrities, politicians and even companies started to create snapchat accounts. Senator Ran Paul of Kentucky has an account and will allow anyone to be his friend.
In October of 2013 Snapchat came out with a new feature, The Story. Now when a user takes a picture or films a video in addition to sending it to a list of friends they can also add it to their story. Each post to a person’s story lasts 24 hours and can be viewed an infinite amount of times. It was starting to become Facebook: a place where people post photos or videos to show that they’re doing something interesting or different. The addition of The Story feature made Snapchat yet another place where people can go to live through others’ lives. The newest Snapchat update, the live-feed videos, has enhanced that even further.
A few months ago Snapchat added a feature that compiles the snapstories of all the people at a certain event, or in some cases everyone who used the same filter and posts it as a live feed for every Snapchat user to see. For example everyone who took a snapchat while at The Super Bowl was added to The Super Bowl Livefeed. Everyone who went shopping on Black Friday and used the Black Friday filter was added to the Black Friday livefeed. Most of the time the videos are boring, uninformative and frankly stupid. However, every once and a while a true behind the scenes look is granted which makes the viewer keep watching. Take the Superbowl livefeed for instance, almost all of the videos were of drunk fans screaming, but then a video would pop up from the locker room, or the press room, places no one but the most VIP get to go.
Two weeks ago was New York Fashion Week, and there was a livefeed for the events. It was filled with videos of super models getting dressed and being in hair and make-up, but from the models’ perspective. One video that sticks out was of a model trying to say, are you filming a snapvideo, but for some reason she couldn’t say it, and kept tripping over her words. Because of snapchat livefeed that video was seen by thousands of people. People backstage also posted videos of the actual fashion shows. A person from the other side of the world was able to watch, for free, parts of New York Fashion week that some people paid loads for.
While that is a remarkable, the fact that someone at snapchat thought enough people in the world would watch these livefeeds and was right is the disconcerning part. The need of the up and coming generation to constantly have something to watch or look at, to take them out of reality and the world around them is upsetting and the snapchat livefeeds is the newest addition that obsession.