Make it Snappy: Snapchat Features to Personalize your Story
Do you Snapchat? You really should. It’s an incredibly easy, light-hearted and often hilarious way to stay connected with friends and family. Snapchat is a vehicle to share moments. The app lets you create a story and share it with individuals you know or share it with the world as a form of contemporary storytelling. Snapchat tells a short story — a Snap— and the simplicity is the beauty of it.
Snaps may last up to ten seconds, but it’s your choice how long they can be viewed. Say a song comes on the radio and it reminds you of your best friend — Snap a ten-second video of yourself singing along and send it to them. Just like that, you’re sharing a fleeting moment. It’s quick and instant, as if your friend were there with you. If you want to share your story with a broader audience, string a bunch of these vignettes together by adding them to Your Story. Here they live on the Stories screen for twenty-four hours, where all of your followers can view them and share your day with you.
There are a couple Snapchat features I love that allow you to personalize the stories you tell:
Snapchat lets you put text over your photo. I realize this seems simple, but being able to add a caption to your pictures and videos without having to open a separate editing app is brilliant.
Not all pictures need to include a witty quip — your photos are dazzling as they are — but some may need an awkwardly placed mustache. Snapchat encourages this customization. With the tap of your finger and a rainbow of accessible colors, you can draw on your pictures to your heart’s content, right there on the screen.
There are only a few filters to choose from, but sometimes it’s nice to change it up a bit — go black and white with a Snap to contrast your sunny locale.
Snapchat recently rolled out a new feature called Discover, allowing media companies to publish content to the app. CNN, Cosmopolitan, ESPN, the Food Network, National Geographic and People are a few of the brands to explore. They each upload original content — pictures and videos — to tell you a story. Discover is a place to find a dose of news, a quick celebrity update or a shot of nature’s beauty.
Who to Follow
Friends – yes. Family – yes. There are also some really great brands and public figures who use Snapchat and are really fun to follow. For instance, Ellen DeGeneres just started an account. The technology news and media network the Verge has a great account, as does Mashable, Jimmy Fallon, NPR News and OtterBox.
Snapchat is visual storytelling. Are you ready to tell your story? There’s an excellent beginners guide at Snapchat Support. Check it out, and get to snapping!