I’ve got a bone to pick with Snapchat. I’ve written about Snapchat on multiple occasions, praising it for its innovativeness for introducing the Discover feature making this picture sharing application more news-y and, despite not being interested myself, I wrote how the introduction of a mini series on the platform was a great idea.
Still, Snapchat has turned on me. And I’ll be bold enough to say that it’s turned on you, too.
Before I go into why I’m upset with a social media tool (Snapchat isn’t a person, FYI), I’ll explain how it, once again, Snapchat is being innovative and making the app more than where you send ugly pictures of yourself to your friends with the promise of the pictures disappearing in 10 seconds or less.
We’re used to My Stories, a feature where users can add images to show all of their Snapchat friends for 24 hours. We’ve also seen many Our Stories, stories in which users in a certain location have the option of adding pictures to the story for everyone in that location (or in some cases, everyone that uses the app) can see for 24 hours.
Recently there has been a TGIF Snap Story every Friday (Thank God it’s Friday) with San Francisco, CA and places in Australia getting to add snaps to it. I can view the story, but I cannot add.
There are actually two Our Stories happening right now: Los Angeles Life and St. Patrick’s Day.
The Los Angeles Life snap story starts with people going on a run with Manny Pacquiao. Casual. It continued with random snaps of people living in LA and then a man, who looked like he had just finished swimming, told viewers to go to Vice’s Snap page and see coverage of that man’s interview with President Obama. So he wasn’t just a random swimming man: he’s a reporter. There was even a Vice filter on that snap.
I can’t go any further without addressing this.
I’ve never seen a brand-sponsored snap added to a Our Story before and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I think this is a smart move for brands because a lot of people watch these snap stories so they’ll gain exposure quickly. On the other hand, this makes these stories less authentic if brands are trying to sell you on their products. Snapchat filters through all of the snaps sent to the Our Story and it ultimately decides what gets posted, so Snapchat knows that these brands are posting, and it’s approving it. Is Snapchat getting a cut of the profits that Vice makes from the new visitors to the site? Are these brands even making a profit?
I’ll have to keep my eye out for that and get back to you because I can’t find anything published about brands on My Stories.
The St. Patrick’s Day is what you would expect: beer and lots of green.
Wait, I’ve gotten off track. That’s not my point, but it’s relevant because it’s Snapchat.
What I was meaning to say was that Snapchat is going to use this feature for live sports broadcasting. I’ve seen Our Stories for the BSC Championship game and for big rivalries in the SEC. This isn’t new to me.
There was even an Our Story for the UNC vs. Dook basketball game held in the depths of Hell, uhh, I mean Cameron Indoor.
Rumors of a partnership between the NCAA and Snapchat open the door to the what these Our Stories could be: the stories could feature individual games (like Harvard vs. my boys in Blue on Thursday night), it could create the stories by rounds (Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, etc.) or it could create a story for each of the 4 regions of the bracket.
Regardless of how it’s handled, it highlights one of the reasons people are drawn to this app: Snapchat is what’s happening now. Not last week, not a month ago, but right now. The 24 hour stories are the least recent, or relevant, and the other content is new and rapidly changing.
The same can be said for the NCAA tournament. There are always upsets (Lehigh > Dook and Mercer > Dook) and you can’t count anybody out. The game of basketball is fast paced in general so this platform could work for it.
I’m anxious to see what comes out of this rumored partnership does for users. Adding filters for users to add to their photographs could be a nice touch, but making it exclusively sponsored content like the Vice snap in the Los Angeles Life snap story won’t be a good move in my eyes.
Oh– I almost forgot to tell y’all why I’m feuding with Snapchat. I’ll explain.
When UNC played at Cameron Indoor against Dook for the first time this season (remember? I wasn’t happy with how the game ended…), there was an Our Story entitled “Cameron Crazies.” The vast majority of these snaps were of Dook students painting themselves in a gross shade of blue or camping out for the game. In other words, it wasn’t fun to watch.
When UNC hosted Dook the Saturday that was almost perfect, a day you should definitely read about, there was no snap story. None.
There should have been a UNC Tar Heels, or Roy’s Boys snap story at least. But no, Snapchat, you let me down.
I don’t think I would be as upset if the first snap story was named something neutral, neither promoting the Devil or my Heels. This, however, was not the case and Dook got a story named after them so we need one too!
During the first Dook game (when Dook had a snap story), I send angry videos to teamsnapchat in hopes that someone in a powerful position would see them and realize what a mistake they made. No such thing happened. Instead, Snapchat deleted proof that I sent them videos and ignored me.
Both games are done so I can’t do anything now, but this NCAA partnership could level the playing field for everyone to have a story when the game is held at home (at least for rivalry games).
Until that happens, I’ll use Snapchat to make annoyingly long, daily Snap Stories but will try my hardest to stop writing blogs about how great it is. Wish me luck!
P.S.– Loving the filters for St. Patrick’s Day today, Snapchat. I’m still mad at you though.