Being passionate about social media and the latest technology I felt obliged last year to have a look at Snapchat and sign up for it. I had a couple of friends who are using it and raved about it and it was “the” latest trend so I just had to join the craze. So I signed up. Or rather my friend helped me sign up and get started. She swore I’d love it – she told me about all the fun she was having with her colleagues in the US and all the jokes and laughs they shared. It sounded pretty fun.
I am a very active Facebooker and have always been. I am also very active on Twitter and Pinterest. In fact I love these three social channels and think I would really struggle not to use them on a daily basis. I have even considered doing a sponsored week off social to raise money for Hope for Romanian Strays … but I genuinely do not know if I could do it! One week without any online social interaction? One week with no browsing and sharing? OMG!
So one of my concerns was Snapchat was that I was potentially adding yet more to my social routine – where would I find the time? If it was a great as my friend made out I would soon be addicted! However part of me also questioned the “why”. As mentioned I was already very active on two high engagement channels (Facebook and Twitter) and for communication with my friends I was also very active on Whatsapp. What role would Snapchat play? How would it enhance what I already had? Or would it not enhance but rather replace something?
I was not sure so I gave it a try to try to answer these questions. I tried it. I really did try. But I just did not get it. I really did not see the “Why”. It offered me nothing that my current social channels were not offering. It did not enhance these either. While Pinterest, for example, does not offer much in terms of “engagement” with my friends or network it did provide me with content to share to my network or content that I could enjoy looking at or using (e.g. recipes). Snapchat just did not add anything to my life that I did not feel I already had covered. I gave up.
A few months later my friend was at me again, this time with support from a second friend. I really should give it another try. They got me active by sending me some stuff. This time round I could start to see some of the “Why” but again it really was not enhancing any of my engagement or relationships. I also began to suspect that this was a channel that you only really got if you were very active and had a big group of active friends too. I had neither – after all I am about 20 years older that the average Snapchatter. So I gave up again.
Then today as I headed off to a business meeting I got a message from one of my Tinder dates who I have been seeing for a while (did I mention I am a huge fan of Tinder?). He happens to be younger than me and fits easily into the top end of the average Snapchatter demographic. He is on Snapchat and yes he asked me to add him on my Snapchat. And so it is I am now giving it another go – maybe third time lucky. Maybe this time I will see a different side to the “why”? I must admit that I have not yet snapchatted with him but I have discovered another venue to bombard my friends with funny photos of my cats. I think I may finally be seeing some value in this channel! Whether my friends will agree with this as they see more and more photos of “King” Don remains to be seen.