I use and test them all. Heck, I even spent 4 years with an incredible team building our own social network called “OKDOTHIS”. (It still has a great little user base by the way and I’m still incredible proud of it.)
Anyway, the only social network I shied away from all these years was Snapchat. Here’s why:
• At first it sounded super sketchy. It was known as a sexting app. Umm, no thanks.
• Then it became something “that only the teens use”. Umm, no thanks.
Then it started becoming something. My friend Branden Harvey was loving it. Hmmm…
I downloaded it. Secured my username. Tested it out. I thought the interface was dumb. Too weird. No one is using it, still. I’m out.
(a year or two passes)
Then it seemed to find that “it” factor. Everyone was using it.
(another year-ish passes)
“Crap, now I’m behind the times. I’m out of touch. Oh well. Still not interested. I don’t have time anyway. I’ve got enough social networks in my life. I don’t need to be staring at my phone more.”
So finally, last week, I decided to really learn it and use it.
“Oh wow”, I thought. Then “OH WOW. I GET IT.”
It was mad love at first sight. “How did I miss this for so long??? Gosh, I’m an idiot.”
Alright, in no particular order, here’s why I love it and why YOU should join too.
• It’s quick
I’m A.D.D.. I don’t have a lot of time. That’s why I love Twitter. It’s only 140 characters. In and out. Snapchat is the same way. The video posts can only be a max of 10 seconds. So I can quickly document the story of my day while on the run.
• There’s no pressure
I always feel an immense amount of pressure on Instagram. Being a visual artist, I feel the pressure that every photo or post has to be “epic, amazing, ridiculous, etc.” Creating great photos day in and day out puts a lot of pressure on anyone. And I just don’t have the time to put that much work into it. Plus, I can’t show a lot of my commercial work anyway. So I just don’t post much on IG.
The same goes with Facebook. Any status update has to be helpful or inspiring or has to bring some kind of value to your audience. It doesn’t HAVE to, I suppose. But you want it to and along with that, comes pressure. Ugh.
Periscope and Facebook Live? Sooooo much pressure. And you have to wait until everyone logs on and starts commenting, etc. You really have to plan and think about what it is you’re delivering. Again, pressure.
But Snapchat? No pressure whatsoever. Your content goes away in 24 hours anyway so just have fun with it. Sure, it’s probably wise to bring value to your audience, especially if you’re using it for branding/business purposes, but still… just have fun with it.
• It’s the best daily journal out there
I’ve never been one to film or document my days. Sure, I can go back and read tweets or facebook posts, but that’s not really a journal or diary. But with Snapchat, you can download your entire story at the end of the day and have a pretty legit documentation of your day. This is probably my favorite aspect so far. My wife and I already love lying in bed at night and watching our story from the day. It’s hilarious and super fun.
• It’s the best peek into your friends lives
I can’t believe how connected I feel to those that I follow. I mean, I TRULY feel like I know what people are up to by watching their stories. It’s far more intimate than any other platform. That sounds super creepy but I mean it in a super non-creepy way haha.
A lot of people hate all the goofy filters and face-swapping features, etc. And those people are basically all the ones NOT on Snapchat. You won’t realize how fun it is until you try it yourself. And I have 4 kids. They’re in love with the filters. Duh.
• No follower counts, comments or likes
Ah, love this feature. Replying to everyone’s Instagram or Facebook comments gets really overwhelming. I always feel like a terrible person that I can’t reply to everyone. But I don’t have to feel that pressure with Snapchat because no one can comment. Put your content out there and move on with your day. Beautiful.
• It’s stupid fun
I didn’t realize how much I needed something (from a business perspective) that’s just plain fun until I started using Snapchat. It’s a blast.
I’ve been missing out for years on all the fun. If you haven’t joined, I’d highly encourage it.
Still plenty of photogs who are out there that don't use it. This isn't particularly indicative of anything.
Easton Richmond Every single photographer I know who has a heavy presence on social media uses Snapchat more than any other network out there. It may not be what I'm saying it is in your eyes right now, but it will be bigger than everything. This isn't just implying it's taking over the photography industry, it's taking over every single industry. Every big company and brand is utilizing it to their benefits. I know more people who get their news stories off of Snapchat than Facebook or Twitter anymore.
Taking over? I think you simply mean that more/more visible people are using it. I've assisted plenty of photogs (very successful ones) who don't use snapchat.
Mary Meeker does an incredible (and fast) job of explaining the growing power of Snapchat here: http://www.recode.net/2016/6/1/11826256/mary-meeker-2016-internet-trends-report
Jeremy Cowart you once badgered me into watching Lost. You Made me take your season 1 DVD set home with me. Ha ha. And now you convinced me to try this thing out "that all the kids are doing...". Ha ha. You're a great salesman. : )
Jeremy Cowart my iPhone 5S is so overloaded with pics and info I can't even take another photo at this point in time, let alone a new App. Lol. I need to dump all 2,500 pics of my kids playing onto a flash drive. I'm saving for a new iPhone as well with tons more space. : ) I'll text u as soon as I'm on Snap chat. Hope all is well bro. : )
That is pretty awesome! And thank you so much for snapping me back .. Snapchat is becoming my goto social media tool .. networking, making friends, conversations, interaction .. truly appreciate that you took your time to send me back that message. Closest thing to having an actual conversation .. amazing!
@jeremycowart MY COMMENT IS IN A SCREEN CAPTURE ON YOUR BLOG! I'M FAMOUS!! WOOHOOO!!!
@jeremycowart sounds like you totally blogged about that tweet, lol. Love it. ^_^
@jeremycowart you're killing it on snapchat. The fort with your kids was fun, can't wait to see what you do with the platform!
I simply hate SnapChat, the worst interface ever... It's hard to follow people, it's complicated and it doesn't really work anyway.. I hate this apps sooooo much!
Well, I re-post almost all of your posts to my wall so good luck Facebook with that blocking/hiding thing.
My 16 year old daughter uses it & was on it with her last night... she was 'explaining it' to me... call me old or old fashioned, old school...I just don't get the point :)
We have had almost the exact same experience in our Snapchat journey, and almost the same timeframe. I love the disposable feel to it. Doesn't take much thinking. So quick and (now that I've figured it out) easy
This is fantastic and the best way I've ever seen anyone describe Snapchat. My path to it was very similar to yours and now I'm totally in. Like you said...it's very fun and instant and actually super easy. I find myself laughing a lot when I watch the stories of those I follow and if I'm not interested at that moment? No big deal! I appreciate you documenting our journey. Have fun!!
Let me guess you figured out the weird filters and now you're in love with the app?\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602
Yep I love your article! And your snaps. Your kids are hilarious and your dog.. your dog makes me roll over laughing. Poor dog can't catch worth a darn. Thank you for entering the world of snapchat! Snapchat is better with you in it.
This is so funny. I literally started using snapchat like 3 weeks ago. Everyone's face swapping photos were so annoying. The very second my three year old daughter giggled because she was a puppy, I was hooked LOLOL now - my snapchat photos are so annoying =)
Ok between the hairball comment at the end of yesterday's video , you have my interest in Snapchat piqued :)
Sooo...I think you put too much pressure on yourself and really...why do we have to live our entire life on social media? Sorry, but you're not selling me on it. Probably. I don't think so. Maybe. I doubt it. Who knows. ;)
Jeremy Cowart I know. But just be you ... On Instagram and everywhere. Enjoy it and maybe I'll see you there!
Take the word "pressure" with a grain of salt in my post haha. This post is mainly for people who are on the fence of joining Snapchat. I was on the fence for a long time but now I get it.