Instagram’s More Casual Counterpart: Snapchat

This platform has taken over the lives of teenagers. We are enveloped in the personal lives of celebrities and those of our friends. The home to DJ Khaled and Kylie Jenner, this is where we post our weirdest selfies and our artsiest stories. Yep, of course:

Snapchat.

This app has unleashed teenagers from the photoshopped, perfect pictures of Instagram and the 140 characters of Twitter. People have become totally obsessed with this app. Life seems to stop to make sure someone can put a cute, artsy pic on their story. It has become acceptable to Snap someone who is sitting across the room. Our proudest achievement is how high our score on Snapchat is. We know who are true friends are by how long our streak is with them. So basically it has taken over everyone’s lives in the best way possible.

Some Snapchat basics: your story is a series of photos that are shared with everyone who adds you. People tend to put their best looking selfies, most “squad goals” pictures and the prettiest sunsets on their stories. Your score is how many snaps you have sent and received and a streak is how many days in a row you have exchanged snapchats with a specific person.

To give you some perspective, Snapchat gets about 100 million users daily, 8,796 photos are shared per second, 71% of users are under 34 years old and more photos are shared on Snapchat per second than WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Kylie Jenner is the most viewed person on Snapchat and Snapchat has become one of the most popular apps for teenagers and young adults.

Snapchat is appealing to many teenagers because the photos are only viewed from 1-10 seconds. People have felt that this has become a safe place to send photos that aren’t the most attractive or that could have no recurrences and that will be gone forever. This has given people the false liberty to send others more questionable pictures. While this is true, a loophole has been found: the receiver of your snap can screenshot it. But if your photo has been screenshotted you will get a notification. This is the one downside to the seeming lack of public attention. People have used the app to send nudes or to bully people but as the app has evolved this has happened less and less.

But the main reason why Snapchat has become so popular is the filterless existence that people can have on the app. It has gained a reputation for being the app where you’re able to send whatever you want because you’re not worried about likes or who is going to see it. It has become a much more personal social media platform between one and their friends. Instagram is infamous for photoshop scandals and need for perfect photos. We have seen teenagers photoshop every part of their bodies and go crazy looking for the perfect picture to complete their feeds on Instagram because of the societal pressures surrounding the overall aesthetic of one’s Instagram. Snapchat is photo based, but it is an escape from needing to look your best. When snapping your best friend your hair might be a mess, you might be showing a double chin and you have a pimple but no one seems to care. Even celebrities, although they typically look amazing, we get to see a side of them on Snapchat that would never be seen on Instagram or Facebook. Snapchat has given everyone the ability to be in a digital society where we can still seem normal and not be so conceptualized by the perfect selfies on Instagram.