I've been diving into Snapchat a lot lately. It's by far my favorite social network right now. I have an observation to share with you.
I noticed this recently and it seems obvious, but it really sets the network apart from everything else out there. Snapchat is semi real-time. If you post something to your story, it stays there for 24 hours, so people can watch it and respond for 23 hours and 59 minutes after you post it.
This is interesting because no other medium allows for such a mix of relevance and convenience.
If I want to see what you've been up to, I have to look everyday, or I'm going to miss something. But conversely, if I'm busy right now, I know I have at least a few hours to come back and check what you've posted later. But I have to look at your stuff within 24 hours of being posted else I will miss it.
Yes, I'm all in with Snapchat. Add me.
When you post something to Snapchat, it goes into your story. This is similar to your Facebook wall, or your Twitter feed, except it only lasts 24 hours. This is the part that I consider to be semi-real-time. You can share an edited version of your activity in a series of moments captured by snapshots and short 10-second videos.
These are moments we share right now, but they're gone in 24 hours. Poof. Gone. And this is good and bad. It's good because you can be more relaxed about what you post, it will not live out there forever. And you are also compelled to share more of what's going on right now because you don't go back and share what you did a few days ago. If you don't share it now, you don't share it on Snapchat.
It's real time, but it isn't. Maybe this is why I love it, you can share a raw version of yourself but still have a chance to edit it. For example, on Youtube you can always edit your video until you're happy with it. It can easily be scripted and it lends itself to be premeditated.
On the other side of the spectrum, things like Periscope or Facebook live are true real time and you can't hide a mistake or prevent a mishap, if it happens while you're broadcasting, it is out there for the world to see.
But Snapchat lets you review what you're going to post just before you do it, and still gives you the benefit of current attention from your audience. This lets you edit yourself briefly before sharing that moment with the world. It's a very interesting network for sure. Jump on it, I'm waiting for you.