To us millennials, time is our most valuable asset. Social media apps such as vine, Snapchat and twitter have ensured that we have an average attention span of about 15 seconds. We have become accustomed to streaming forms of information. Our instinct is to swipe, tap, like or ‘heart’ (as Twitter recently introduced). Even clicking (through the use of a mouse/mouse pad) has become a thing of the past as we move toward greater use of tablet and touch screen devices.
Early last year I decided to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon. As a social media junkie I expected the app to be just as addictive as my other accounts. However I quickly realised it wasn’t as easy to navigate as the other social media apps I was used to (primarily Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and even Tumblr – which these days seems to be becoming somewhat obsolete? The concept seemed brilliant; users uploading 6 second continuous videos which would disappear after 24 hours (hence the ‘ghost’ image as their logo I presume). Nonetheless, there are some ticks and kinks that could do with ironing out, in my opinion, in order to make the app more efficient…
- Users should not have to continue holding down on the circle in order to record their video. One tap of the circle should be sufficient as this would enable the use of both hands whilst recording.
- Once a user has tapped to view someone’s story, they should be able to tap out of that user’s story at any point
- Users should be be able to navigate through people’s stories and view the particular 6 second video they would like to watch rather than having to view the entire story – I suggest that a user’s story should be divided into a selection of still screenshots that you would be able to swipe between to find the particular screenshot of a video that you are interested in viewing – similar to the stills of photos at the bottom of the screen in the iPhone 6 and 6plus camera roll that you can navigate through
- The ‘Stories’ Page should in fact be a streaming procession of videos of the people you follow – similar to that of Vine – this would again save time rather than having to tap in and out of someone’s ‘story’; you would simply be able to scroll down the screen
- The above modifications should also be applied to the ‘Discover’ screen in the app
As stated above, this is purely my opinion and perhaps Snapchat’s format is the format of the future for social media and networking sites. One thing is for sure though, over the last year Snapchat has slowly but surely been proving itself to be one of the most dominant platforms in the social media landscape. It is no longer an app only associated with 13-17 year olds. Everyone is on Snapchat; and once everyone is on Snapchat, no one will be. The most coveted target consumer audience will see it as having become too mainstream i.e. once their parent’s generation are on it, it will no longer cool. The attention will shift and marketers will follow. I can in fact already see this happening as there is a growing trend toward the use of Periscope. Although for the time being, through its use of free and chargeable comical and entertaining animated facial filters, Snapchat is still very much in and at the forefront of ‘the game’.