By KATHERINE NERI
With 100 million users, Snapchat has become one of the most popular mobile applications since its release in April 2011. According to Omnicore, a digital marketing agency, more than 400 million Snapchat stories are created each day and over 20,000 photos are sent via Snapchat each second. The app recently went through a user surge due to an update released in early September.
One of the most popular features of this particular update allows users to apply different filters through face recognition software. Whether you choose bunny ears, a dog face, a flower crown, or swapping faces with peers, sending photos has become increasingly entertaining. Filters are plentiful, and change daily. Snapchat users explain how they feel more comfortable sending photos with these effects. Senior Maria K. said, “It eases the pressure of having to look good for that selfie you send to your friend.”
The app’s most recent update includes communication features like video chatting and text messaging that mirror Apple’s FaceTime and iMessage. In a survey of twenty Jericho iPhone users, all reported that they would rather use the iPhone’s default communication services over Snapchat’s. There are a few concerns regarding these new communication features. Senior Alexis C. said, “The video chatting is glitchy and confusing.” Students have consistently reported that they do not like chatting on the app because the conversation disappears once you view it. Also, many students do not like the feature that notifies both people if someone took a screenshot of the conversation. Junior Dylan Z. said, “If I want to remember a conversation or save it, I can’t because the other person will get annoyed if they see I screenshot it.”
Snapchat is also attempting to keep its users updated on daily news and popular culture. Through its Discover section, Snapchat allows “The Wall Street Journal” and “People Magazine” to showcase content on the app. “BuzzFeed” commonly shares its most popular articles and videos in, attracting more viewers. The Discover section also provides cultural insight into different locations around the world. For example, New Yorkers are able to view selected snapchats from people living across the world in places like London, France and Australia. Many students enjoy this section and check it daily. Senior Chloe C. stated, “I love this section and I actually check it every day. I usually look at Refinery29– a beauty and fashion blog, and Tastemade–a food and travel blog to see their new pieces. I often share them with my friends too, like cool recipes or a funny post I find.”
Many find Snapchat’s attempt to become an all- purpose app commendable, but for now it seems that more will continue to use Snapchat for its basic default features.
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