June 6, 2016
As a proud millennial, I like to think I’m pretty well-versed in the world of social media. I Insta and Snapchat, and with the nature of my job and work I do, I feel like I’m pretty in-the-know when it comes to the hot apps and what the kids are talking about these days.
However, Buzzfeed’s “My Little Sister Taught Me How To ‘Snapchat Like the Teens’” put me back in my place — if you haven’t read it, it’s definitely worth the laugh. My friends who I consider Snapchat addicts have max scores of around 30,000-40,000, yet 13-year-old Brooke from the Buzzfeed story had a score of over 103,000. I mean, whoa. It’s obvious that teens use Snapchat more than anyone else, but I want to know exactly why that is. And how does the way a 13-year-old uses it differ from a 17-year-old?
I was in line at Chipotle the other day and saw a high-school-aged girl Snapping and typing at a rapid-fire pace. She was having multiple conversations at once without ever opening up her messages app. For teens, it’s beyond just being the hot new app or social channel; it’s becoming the preferred form of communication over text messages. Why is that?
I took to my expert source — my 16-year-old brother JT — who boasts a Snapchat score of 95,000, sending him what could soon be considered an ancient form of communication only used by parents and un-hip folks: a text.
WHY DO YOU SNAP?
Sam: How often do you snap vs text
JT: I snap way more
JT: Cause it’s easy and quicker to communicate and you can more easily see if people have read it
Sam: so it’s basically like an automatic read receipt?
JT: Yeah, and you can contact a wider range of people to find people to hang out with too
Okay, that’s pretty genius.
WHEN DO YOU SNAP V. TEXT?
Sam: How do you ask people to hang out? Do you put it on your story like you did the other day?
[note: he had posted a black background on his story with the words “who tryna hangout tonight.” That should do the trick.]
JT: Yeah exactly, I was with my friends and we all sent out that story to see who could hang out. Usually we text people about hanging out after we have already contacted them on snapchat and they say they want to hang out too.
Sam: so snapchat is kinda like putting the feelers out there, and then you can make more concrete plans through text?
JT: Yeah snapchat has a feeling where it’s just to see like who’s hanging out and where, and with a text it’s more direct
So Snapchat is basically a visual list of all your social options? Like a social a la carte, where you can pick and choose what plans you want. Opportunism at its finest.
WHO DO YOU SNAP?
Sam: How many people view your stories on average?
JT: Around 145
Sam: holy sh*t
JT: hahaha I mean some of the people I have never met though. Like just people I know of from other cities or stuff like that
Sam: how do they start following you then?
JT: They friend me or I friend them because our friend groups wanna hang out or stuff like that, or like a couple times I played people in basketball and they friend us haha
Sam: how do they find you? just search your name?
JT: Sometimes it’s because I was in someone else’s story or I post it somewhere in a bio on other social media
Sam: wait so you would post your username on someone else’s story?
JT: Yeah as a joke sometimes or a lot of my friends have it on there Twitter or Instagram bios
Might be a “joke,” but what a bunch of mini-marketers, am I right?
HOW ABOUT BRANDED CONTENT?
Sam: Do you watch the discover channels?
JT: Like ESPN?
Sam: ya like the brand snapchats at the top
JT: Yeah I only watch the iHeartradio one and ESPN. The others don’t really interest me
Sam: How do you feel about the ads
JT: I skip over them usually, it seems like all of them are horror movie commercials so pretty boring
Snapchat just announced they will be expanding their advertising offerings and placing ads between your friends’ stories. I tested the waters.
Sam: so apparently they are going to start putting ads in between your friends stories soon. How do you feel about that?
JT: Why? that’s so stupid. It’s gonna make it a hassle to view stories so i think a lot of stories won’t be viewed as much
Sam: Why is that?
JT: I mean I think people will still view the stories but sometimes I just go though stories when I’m bored even though I don’t really want to see some people’s snaps. But now it will make me less interested in going through them if i have to keep skipping ads
WHAT ABOUT INFLUENCER/CELEB PARTNERSHIPS?
A study from Collective Bias found that 30 percent of U.S. adults are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity influencer. Does that always apply to teens too?
Sam: What do you think about sponsored posts on Instagram? Are you more likely to trust a popular account on Instagram that reviews shoes, etc., or a celebrity?
Sam: Even if you know they are getting paid for it?
JT: That doesn’t really bother me. If it’s something I’m interested in and a celeb is wearing it, it makes more me more likely to want it since the celeb posted about it. Like shoes and stuff like that.
Sam: Do you follow celebs on Snapchat?
JT: yeah I follow the chainsmokers, basketball players, bieber, people like that
Sam: what do guys your age think about bieber. honestly curious..
JT: Clearly everyone thought it was cool to say he sucked when we were younger, but now everyone always talks about how cool he is lol
I mean, I can’t think of a better concluding thought than that.