If you’re under the impression that Snapchat is only for teenagers, or that it’s just for millennials, you’re not completely wrong. Snapchat became popular because it solved the problems teens had when trying to communicate with their friends freely on the internet.
And when you think about it, that’s the problem all of us have, even if it’s not so pronounced. With Snapchat, the communication is more direct, more personal, and it’s only seen by the people you want – for up to 10 seconds.
Of course, you won’t get the full experience if your friends aren’t on Snapchat. But there are still some interesting ways to use Snapchat if none of your friends are on it yet.
1. Privacy Isn’t Just for Millennials
Snapchat is big on privacy. Your data is deleted as soon as it’s seen, and there’s no tracking. Taking a screenshot sends an alert to the sender and is frowned upon. And this kind of privacy is useful for everyone. You don’t need to be a teenager in America to appreciate this feature.
I’m sure you’ve been burned by Facebook on this issue already. You wanted to share something to a particular group but because of the complicated privacy settings, it was shared to all your friends.
In Snapchat, there’s no complicated settings to worry about. This part of Snapchat, at least, is simple.
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2. Isn’t This That Sexting App?
Some friends seem to think so. I haven’t encountered such a thing since I started using Snapchat (insert sad face). Yes, when it first started, this might have been one of the major use cases, but now that it’s really popular, you can hardly call Snapchat a sexting app.
Don’t worry, merely signing up for Snapchat will not usher a slurry of naked selfies your way.
3. It’s the Simplest Video Calling App
Not everything about Snapchat is simple. In fact, if you’re new, Snapchat can seem confusing. It’s a pane-based UI where you swipe left/right to see more panes.
With Snapchat, it’s really simple. You go to the conversation view for a contact and if the person is online, the yellow Snapchat camera button will turn blue. Touch and hold the button and you’ll get a little floating circle with the preview of what you’re sending. The video from the other end will fill the rest of the screen. You can swipe up to switch between front/back camera.
4. Follow the Personalities You’re Already Familiar With
Snapchat is no Facebook or Twitter (yet). But a lot of internet personalities are already using Snapchat to deliver a different kind of content. For instance, MKBHD (Snapchat: MKBHD) or The Verge (Snapchat: therealverge).
My favorite example is Casey Neistat (Snapchat caseyneistat). He uses the Snapchat’s Stories feature to send 10 second updates throughout the day. He’s a filmmaker based in New York and he doesn’t post frequently on YouTube. So watching what he’s up to during his day is always interesting. He archives Snapchat stories on a different YouTube channel.
While we’re talking about Casey, check out this film he made about Snapchat vs Facebook.
This is still new and there are only 12 players right now but you can use the Discover section to get up and running with what’s going on around you. There’s Yahoo! News, CNN, and more. Snapchat’s own channel will tell you about 3 hot conversation topics for the day.
If you’re already using Snapchat, this little corner can fulfill the quota for your BuzzFeed-type, feel-good stories of the day.
Live events: If there’s a live event going on somewhere that Snapchat is curating, it will show up in your Stories field. Again, these are more focused for American audiences, but I quite enjoyed the feed for the football world cup.
6. If You Care About the Future of Tech, Test it Out
Snapchat is not without its problems. Right now it’s clearly having problems growing from its initial user base – American teens. Even right now, Snapchat looks and feels like an American app. It’s not truly global like WhatsApp.
But it’s getting popular and hopefully Snapchat will figure out its issues.
The technology world is all about the new. And Snapchat is clearly disrupting this market.
How (or Why) Do You Use Snapchat?
Are you a proper grown-up that uses Snapchat? Share your reasons with us in the comments below.