Whenever I have a free moment, I find myself scrolling through Snapchat, probably because it is the social media platform I find least overwhelming. This isn’t a random habit though, ’ve actually begun to notice that I am particularly turned off by Facebook and Twitter because of the seemingly neverending new stories, tweets and pictures flooding my timeline, so much so that I never truly feel caught up with the platforms. Snapchat is different because it seems more personal and less filtered than Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram. You don’t necessarily worry about college admissions offices or potential employers finding your Snapchat handle and passing judgement on your character (let’s all take a second and pray that this doesn’t end up happening) and neither do your friends. Snapchat is a fun social media site that my friends and family use to stay in a passive communication with, especially thanks to the introduction of the Snapchat Story.
When I first started using the app, I was sure it was a trendy app that would disappear in due time. However, five years later, I’m still sending and receiving unattractive selfies and videos with friends. Over these five years not much in terms of Snap content that I’m sending or receiving has changed, but video Snapping has been introduced, as well as the Snapchat Story, and, most recently, the Discover function. As a college student, I can safely say that the majority of my friends utilize most of Snapchat’s features on a daily basis. If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve broken it down into greater detail below.
I probably send and receive about 20 total Snapchats each day, as do my friends with the same modest number of friends in their Snapchat contact list. It’s typical to receive more or less depending on the day and depending on the occasion. If it’s Spring Break, I’ll certainly receive more Snaps because my friends are all away doing different things, updating each other more frequently than they would if we were all back at school on relatively the same schedule.
I would say that since the recent update to Snapchat (and simultaneous removal of the best friends feature), there has been an increase in the number of stories each of my friends on Snapchat posts. Considering the former Contacts page has been replaced by a Stories Board, which only includes a lists of friends who have Recently Updated their stories, it seems as if the only way to stay on the “Snapchat Map” is by uploading a story or two every few days. The majority of my friends/other college students may post a funny video, picture, or selfie to their story at least once or twice a week.
The introduction of the Discover Tabs also comes with the latest Snapchat update. The Discover Tabs (the purple circle icon found in the upper left hand corner of the Stories page) offer users the ability to watch the daily stories of some popular media outlets: CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, Snapchat, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice, Yahoo News and Warner Music. Each of these stories is updated once a day and may last for as long as 5 or 6 minutes.
After talking to some friends, it seems clear that, at least by our standards, no one really looks at the featured Discover Stories except while procrastinating or during extreme boredom spells. While the Discover Stories may contain interesting/stimulating information, it all seems relatively useless. The couple of tabs I occasionally bother looking at are CNN and Daily Mail (judge me), but after that, I have no real desire to check out Cosmopolitan or Vice’s stories on a daily basis. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever watched all nine Discover Stories in one day. I took a poll among my friends and the consensus was the same.