With more than 100 million active daily users and 400 million snaps sent every single day, Snapchat is the third most frequently used social media app among teens (after Facebook and Instagram).
Why is it so popular?
We’re living in the decade of selfies: millions of people take photos of themselves every single day. As we are human beings, we like to socialize and share our lives with each other.
The problem is that society only values beautiful pictures, but people also like to fool around (a lot). What if you could send pictures to your buddies, but they could only see it for a couple of seconds? It wouldn’t be on their phones for forever (real friends have the ugliest pictures of their friends on their phones, we all know that).
“Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion- not just what appears to be pretty or perfect” – via Snapchat’s first blogpost.
1. Basic features
Once you take a photo, you get to this screen. It’s designed to be completely transparent so the buttons won’t distract the users: every part of the photo can be seen (the application is completely fullscreen, you don’t see the status bar).
If a new user has just joined, there’s no need for her to watch a tutorial, because the buttons are so self-evident (delete, new layer for the emojis, text, draw, time limit, download, my story and send).
The most adored feature of Snapchat is obviously the limitation of time. Setting the time limit is easy for a 5-year-old kid too. The settings only appear when you click on them, and it remembers your last settings too, so if you like the 4 seconds limit, every snap of yours will have that length by default. This is a pretty cool element, because people are always in a hurry and they can become pretty annoyed when something (mostly in connection with technology) takes more than just a second.
Fact: only 12% of the snaps are shared with more than one recipient.
2. My story
Angie is a teenage girl, she likes to hang out with her friends. Of course she wants to share her experience with the others too, but she doesn’t want to check every single recipient one-by-one, it can be pretty annoying.
That’s what My story is for!
This feature hasn’t been around from the beginnings, Snapchat added it with their 6.0 update in 2013.
Swiping to the left on the home screen gets us to the stories page. You have two sections: the stories that you haven’t seen yet (recent updates), and the ones that you have already seen (all stories), both in chronological order. This page has a clean structure, little preview icons with the friends’ user names. All you have to do is click on them, and the snaps are displayed for you from earliest to latest.
Fact: 1 billion stories are viewed every single day.
Filters are very popular among social media users. Instagram has its own array of filters, Facebook also implemented filtering options, and Snapchat did the same thing.
The point is that Snapchat offers the easiest way to have filters put on your pictures. All you have to do is to start swiping, and choose the most appropriate filter for your picture.
Along with the basic ones, there are several location service-based filters too (like temperature, speed, geofilters etc.). These can be combined, with an additional swipe you can mix them too.
Geofilters are fun to use, there are many for the users to choose from. Have you tried them yet?
The only problem with the additional filters (like speed and time) is that you cannot change its position. It’s pretty hard to determine whether the displayed content will fit the filter or not.
Fact: you can submit your very own Geo-filter to the Snapchat team.
4. Front-facing flash
Okay, so… Angie cannot sleep, she’s bored at night, so she wants to send some funny pictures to her friends. Too bad that nothing can be seen, because her room is completely dark.
The solution? Snapchat’s front-facing flash!
If you turn this feature on, the only thing you have to do is to take the picture the way you usually do.
Snapchat then will make the screen white right before taking the picture, working like a not-so-high quality flash.
It usually does its job. Of course not as a professional flashlight would do, but it’s pretty fascinating for a free social media application.
Fact: Snapchat is worth $16 billion.
5. Emojis with layers
Emojis are gaining bigger and bigger importance among smartphone users, because they can express feelings pretty accurately.
But what if sending a picture is not enough? What if you want to comment something or explain the picture?
Creating a text layer has never been easier. You can edit it, add your own emojis etc.
But what if you want to arrange them separately? It was a fairly big issue, but the 9.14.0 version solved it: now you can add an infinite number of emojis by the new layer button.
Fact: 18–29 years old users spend 20 minutes on Snapchat daily.
6. Replay and screenshot
What’s even better than your friends not being able to save your snaps? The answer is: your friends being able to save your snaps.
Obviously, it would all be done with you knowing about it (unless your friend is a techie).
Every action has its own icon next to the friend, so you will know if they took a screenshot, replayed your video, wrote something to you or just watched the snap.
Some of these icons are pretty understandable, so everyone knows their meaning. However Snapchat lacks a section where they explain the meaning of emojis next to the names. (For those of you, who are interested, the explanation is here.)
Fact: 45% of the users are between 18 and 24 years old
Ever since QR codes appeared in the world of smartphones, more and more apps are implementing them in different ways.
Snapchat utilized it in its own way by creating snapcodes. Every Snapchat user has a snapcode with an individual pattern.
If you want to add a friend, and he’s next to you, all you have to do is hold your Snapchat camera over the friends’ snapcode and voilá!
Snapchat even made it possible to insert your own image or video inside the ghost. Then you can share it with that.
It’s easy and innovative. They didn’t invent anything new, they rather modified the existing solution.
Fact: 65% of the daily users load up content on a daily basis. (The remaining users just view others’ snaps.)
Snapchat introduced its discover, live and advertising features not too long ago.
They have their own philosophy about advertising, which, in fact is very fascinating. According to them, it’s not about the quantity that matters, but the quality. There’s no point in flooding the users with ‘useless’ advertisements. The ones that are interested in the given content will watch the ad.
With introducing the discover feature inside the story section, Snapchat made it possible for people to take a look at the news in which they are interested. These are renewed every single day (the 24-hour rule, which applies to the My stories too). According to Snapchat: “ what’s news today is history tomorrow”
Fact: 1% of marketers use Snapchat.
9. Hidden features
Unfortunately Snapchat doesn’t have a hey-did-you-know-we-have-many-awesome-features-you-should-know-about section.
You can draw with unique colors, have longer texts etc. It’s a pity that they don’t promote these features properly. (Hey Snapchat team, if you are reading this, please consider it.)
What’s more important is that they introduced Snapcash. You can easily send money to your friend with just a few taps.
This feature is built seamlessly into the Snapchat design, easy to understand and utilize.
Awesome, isn’t it?
Fact: roughly 70% of Snapchat users are women.
+1. Additional apps
Creating a viral application will always bring the attention of other developers.
Angie wants to take a screenshot, but she doesn’t want her friend to know that she took it. Fortunately, there’s an app for that too.
She has a picture that she took a couple of days ago, but she wants to send it to her friends via Snapchat. There’s an app for that too.
These applications are not developed and acknowledged by Snapchat, but third party developers. Before downloading these apps, consider the fact that you take the fun part out ofSnapchatting.
Fact: approximately 2,221,920 snaps have been shared since you started reading this article.
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(ps. Thanks for the awesome facts for DMR.)