By now you know that I like to share some stuff about Snapchat on this platform as I found it to be a perfect platform to share my thoughts and reflections about my work and learning. I love that it uploads videos, audio, text and photos as well as allows editing and annotations to snaps which are uploaded chronologically. This allows me to create my own daily personal story.
In the early days, people wondered why I was even using this platform. At the time, there was nothing like it across other social networks and it suited my needs perfectly as I wanted to capture snippets of my work and learning and create a story around it.
It was a great blend of providing the visual story behind the reflective writing on this blog.
Since starting my Snapchat journey, I have grown a small following of people around the world who I have been chatting to behind the scenes.
My Snapchat community is a wonderful group of people in different fields who are sharing what they’re learning in their work and life. They use the app to “Work Out Loud”. Unlike other social media, we talk to each other via the app which makes for a closer connection.
However, people have begun to question me about my continued use especially now that Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Stories, Facebook Stories and Apple Clips all now have copied (to some extent) Snapchat functionality.
Will Snapchat die?
I have no idea.
Part of me thinks that it will differentiate into something different and possibly focus on its strength which is using the augmented/mixed reality which the other social networks have yet to figure out.
Alternatively, they also have the Snapchat Spectacles. To some, this is frippery. To others like me, I see the applications of these in training applications to capture learning and reflections from a first person point of view. No other media has figured this out yet.
Similarly, the community on Snapchat is also more supportive and engaging of others who are using this platform.
If you’re willing to contribute and participate, welcome and be welcoming, you’ll find a new group of people who you’ll connect with far quicker than any other means. The trust seems to build a lot quicker on this platform than others and certainly, there’s more intense discussions and an interlinking of people’s stories to each others. (That is, people actively sharing snap codes, taking over each other’s Snapchat accounts and cross-linking discussions through a community narrative – again, not been done before on other platforms) than what is done across Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp.
It’s likely that if you share your story across other platforms other than Snapchat, your community is more likely to find this frustrating or annoying.
Different communities across the social networks mean people have different expectations on how YOU should be using that platform. In Snapchat, no one cares. That’s what I like about it.
So this is what I’m finding worrying when people ask me the question of allegiances to platforms – they’re asking the wrong question mainly from the position of “I told you so”.
They haven’t explored or researched the platform to the depth that I have nor understand its context and application. The question they should be asking is:
“What can we learn about how people are connecting and behaving on this platform? Why is it so different from other social networks and how can we apply this in our understanding of social learning?”
So the question of whether I use one tool over another well, I don’t really care either way but I’m now finding that the expectation from others is that I have to change just because other social networks have, on the surface, the same functionality.
I don’t buy that.
I’m not going to change.
Because I’m feeling strangely close to my Snapchat community. They allow me to express my voice in my own way – and they have no expectations of me to use Snapchat in a certain way.
This is what worries me about Facebook which is fast becoming (okay, it is), the megalomaniac of all social networks.
Swallowing or taking over everything in its path, my greatest fear is that the various communities and networks I have tapped into across various social networks will over time, be melded into the one – the Facebook one.
Right now, I am quite happy to be hanging out in different “neighbourhoods” (as @JoeWilsonTV) calls them but I have a nagging fear that Facebook is slowly trying to be everything to everyone and create one generic monolithic neighbourhood which will slowly force our hands to move there whether we like it or not – the WeChat of the Western World.
And that’s what is scaring me the most.
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