I read an interesting article about SnapChat in NYT. Was thinking, am I getting too old for this? After all, I tried it before, and much like the article linked in the Time’s piece above, it made me feel old. All the new cool kids use it, and I work for a school, which makes it worse.
So I gave it another try. This time I managed to have a better understanding. On the surface, it looks like a silly App meant to just have fun. A teen app indeed. But SnapChat just feels good to use, natural almost. A silly app maybe, but it’s designed by smart people. I took a deeper look at the design intelligence behind it, and here is what I realized:
- It changes the stickers you can add, based on location. It has it narrowed down to a neighborhood, time of day, etc. Sure, that’s easy, any app can do it, right? But any app hadn’t just yet.
- The lenses, the funny face filter, are pretty good at finding faces in pictures. Bonus: SnapChat, unlike any other social media app I used recently, assumes you want to take selfies. Whenever you want to take a picture, the front facing camera is the first one selected first. Now this is what I call thinking about small details.
- The pictures taken with it have filters, stickers, labels, and can be written over. This is also available for videos. How come no other app I know have such an amazing capability for videos? This is super useful.
- The “my story” feature is actually not half bad to capture your day in a visual way. It’s meant to share with your friends, and then it’s gone forever (more or less). Your boss won’t find out about how drunk you got on your sick day from your friends on Facebook. The only person who can save these stories is the only one who should: you. Simple. Smart. No other social network thought about this amazing privacy filter.
SnapChat has more gems to explore. I’m actually excited about trying to use it, but none of my millennial friends will use it. After all, we’re too “app snob” to use something so silly, right? “When I was your age, I used Facebook! and it was Da Bomb!”
The guys who made SnapChat know what they’re doing. I hope They won’t hurry to make SnapChat public. History shows this can be a kiss of death to innovation.