Snapchat is one of the first pieces of technology to emerge that really makes me feel my age. aka OLD. I’ve been in denial for some time, I suppose.
For the first time ever, I can finally relate to people who initially shrugged off Facebook, saying it wasn’t that important to them, or to how they communicate with friends. I always wondered how people ended up so old and out-of-touch like that. But now I get it! It’s the same thing for me with Snapchat.
If you don’t count other tech reporters, then I can firmly say my “regular” friends aren’t using this thing. I’d have to go around to all my friends and convince them to install it, and a good many would probably roll their eyes and say, yeah that’s OK, I’ll just text you.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem evangelizing new tech to my friends - I have single-handedly gotten people to install Foursquare, Path, Square and Bump’s Flock app most recently - but the truth is I don’t feel strongly enough about Snapchat myself to take on its cause. And that concerns me.
I mean, god, what’s next…I start shaking my fist at kids yelling at them to stay off my lawn? Will I complain about their music? Their odd clothing choices? Will I watch CBS? Oh hell, I already do some of this stuff. Well, crap.
I read all the brainy reasons on Quora as to “why people use Snapchat.” It’s a brand new channel for communication! It’s unique! Friction-free! Reduced inhibitions!
Then I asked my sister. She’s in grad school, and living a very collegiate lifestyle. She says she saw a friend using Snapchat, asked ‘what’s that?,’ and then installed it. It’s fun, she says.
Keep in mind this is the same person who told me that she didn’t want to bother installing an airline’s app on her phone for her holiday travel because that would be “too much trouble.” In other words, she’s not an app addict. I looked at the app installs on her phone - they’re pretty boring/par for the course. Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
I asked her why she used Snapchat. Her answer isn’t really represented on the Quora round-up. She said it’s because you don’t have to worry about the text messaging limits on your plan.
Oh, and you can write on the pictures.
So it seems to me that it’s not just that Snapchat is so much “a new way to communicate,” but that it’s a upgrade for the efficient, but stagnant, technology that is SMS/MMS. Which is way over-priced. That’s a technology my sister’s generation grew up using (while my generation grew up placing actual phone calls). It’s a natural next step for them.
I told her that Facebook just launched its own version of Snapchat called Poke, and asked her if she would use it.
Yeah, if enough of my friends joined, she said.
So much for brand loyalty.
Well, we’ll see.