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How does Snapchat really work and why is it so popular among teens?


In the midst of a zillion “likes” and “shares” on Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat offers a simple yet unique experience to share pictures and videos, which are viewable for a limited time.

Snapchat is a social media platform where photos and video are shared or viewed for no more than 10 seconds, after which they permanently disappear. It also has unique features including fun filters, face swap and typing or drawing over pictures. You can also join several pictures together to create a “story”, which can be viewed by others for up to 24 hours.

How this popular app works:

When you download the app, the primary screen opens in camera view. You can swipe down to go to the contacts screen and add or search contacts.

You can click pictures, customise them, draw icons, type captions, shoot videos, chat with friends and create stories. Likewise, you can view media from your contacts and screenshot their snaps on your phone which notifies respective senders. Eventually, you end up with a follower base and broadcast your media to them. The newer version has Snapchat memories, Slo-mo, Force touch features for easy use.

With all these attributes, Snapchat has become hugely popular, not only among teens but also among users aged between 25 and 34 years. A survey states that nearly 50% of teens in the UK now use the app. Here are some reasons why it’s so popular:

It’s all about “now”

Snapchat enables users to instantly upload without editing and allows faster communication. A study shows that Snapchat has managed to revolutionise how mobile phone users think about communication driven by images.

Creativity with security

The ephemeral feature of this app instils a sense of safety which allows users the freedom to share and communicate things they may not otherwise feel they can. The app’s features ensure there are no limits to users’ creativity. Features such as screenshot notifications and stringent privacy setting options may also appeal to those concerned with privacy. This article explains how children may operate Snapchat under parental control.

Personalised connections

Users with caption spiced-up snaps and Snapchat stories tend to build their follower base. Teens are captivated by  three-dimensional stickers which can be “pinned” to people, places or things in pictures and videos as they move. In addition, snapchatters can apply multiple pictographs at once for a digitally appealing experience.

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words; however, if it is available for only a few seconds, it seems to be worth a thousand shares or likes, in the world of social networking! If used judiciously, social media apps such as Snapchat can provide a positive method of communication amongst young people.

Snapchat appears to be yet another priceless gem in the crown of digital media. As it gains in popularity among young people, it is worth becoming as well-acquainted with all its features as your child or pupil. To find out more, why not follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn?

Mark Kingham
Mark Kingham

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