Snapchat Takes Over Social Media Game
by Constantine Velmahos on Friday, February 21st, 2014
The other day, I asked one of my friends to send a text. He pulled out his phone, outstretched his hand, scrunched his face up in an awkward manner, and took a selfie. After devising a caption underneath his picture, he sent off his Snapchat masterpiece. I was caught by surprise, not by his face-scrunching, nor his selfie-taking, but rather that his communication medium of choice was Snapchat. Rather than texting or Facebook messaging, he instinctively sent a quick, little selfie, with a couple of words scrawled underneath his face. Why has Snapchat become so popular among the teenage masses?
Snapchat’s complete takeover of the social media market originates from an inherent teenage mentality. At our age, the idea of someone having only temporary access to embarrassing, in-the-moment photos of ourselves causes us teenagers to rejoice in happiness. By eliminating the worry that specific pictures will be saved and kept for indefinite use, Snapchat instills in teens a sense of security. Nearly three years after its big release, Snapchat remains at the forefront of teenage social media use because it is simply more personal than other services, such as Facebook Messenger. By actually viewing your friends’ faces, you feel that the conversation becomes more real, yet the application still maintains the brevity and speed of texting. Snapchat’s ability to eliminate the lasting repercussions of shameful photos has pulled in a massive pool of adolescents, the company’s primary demographic. Last year, Snapchat had about 30 million active users, says The Business Insider; just imagine how many users there are today. Naturally, Snapchat’s popularity has managed to profoundly affect us here at Milton.
And Snapchat’s popularity is only increasing. “I barely text anymore. Snapchat’s my thing now,” said Matthew Langen (II), playing with his phone in his hand. “It’s cooler, it’s easier, it’s simpler,” he said. I couldn’t agree more. Snapchat has captured the average teenager’s loyalty with a cool, easy, and simple app. With the capability to remain connected in a completely unique manner — sending pictures instead of colorless texts — users of the app, such as the average Milton student, love to send and receive Snapchats. Like ripping open a present on Christmas morning, opening a new Snapchat is addictive: you never know what to expect, but you will rarely be disappointed. Although Snapchat has its deficiencies — it was recently hacked, leaking the data of 4.6 million users — Snapchat remains one of the most adaptable social media applications in our adolescent lives. It has become such a prevalent part of our lives that it is almost necessary to Snapchat in order to stay connected to your friends, as texting communication is continually supplemented by internet communication apps. Because of its faculty to combine communication and personality, Snapchat will certainly continue to remain highly popular for a couple more years. Since it has established itself as a necessary product, people will continue to use it as one of their primary means of communication.
However, an important question remains: how long will Snapchat remain at the forefront of the social media game? It has the necessary tools to remain a powerhouse in teenage lives for at least a few more years, but like most successful apps, its future is foreshadowed by Facebook, Instagram, and, most-significantly, MySpace, which are “going out-of-style,” if they have not died already. Snapchat is at its peak now, recently declining Facebook’s acquisition offer for $3 billion, according to Forbes Magazine; however, if Snapchat does not make an effort to continue to adapt to teenage desires, we may very well see another breakthrough app take the spot of Snapchat as Snapchat did three years ago.
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