A few weeks ago I started writing a post about Snapchat for journalists. It ended up so long that I decided to turn it into a small ebook. But I thought I’d split that original draft – just under half the length of the finished ebook – across a number of posts here on OJB. I hope you find it useful.
In a long history of technologies journalists have struggled with, Snapchat could be the most frustrating of all.
On the one hand: promises of insane engagement and impressive advertising rates.
On the other, however…
Well. Firstly there’s the ephemeral nature of the tool: creating content designed to disappear is precisely the opposite of what journalists aspire to.
Secondly there’s that obtuse-to-the-point-of-arrogance interface that can be summed up with the advice ‘Just swipe somewhere.‘
And then there’s the amateurishness of the content.
If you struggled with the limitations of 140 characters, Snapchat takes things to a whole new level: vertical video, over-emotional stickers, and the choice between a) using a typeface that makes you look like a government bureaucrat in 1978, or b) scrawling bright red text on the screen like a demented crayon-wielding five year old.
There is that engagement. And an audience you can’t easily reach elsewhere.
And to be honest, once I got my head around Snapchat, I started to see storytelling possibilities that other platforms simply don’t offer. And I hope you will too. Continue reading