So far in our Snapchat course, we have told you about what Snapchat is and how it works. But maybe you’re not one for flash-in-the-pan information; you want the detailed points about the service. Here are some of the good and not-so-good things about Snapchat that we’ve found at TechBoomers.
- Privacy-conscious – Snapchat takes a bit of the worry out of leaving a paper trail from your social interactions for someone to snoop on. Whenever a user views something that you sent them (or you view something that they sent you), the content will automatically delete itself after a certain short amount of time.
- Lots of different ways to make friends – You can add people to converse with through looking up their user name, checking them against your address book, scanning their Snapchat ID code, or even just looking for people nearby who want to become Snapchat friends.
- Send creative text, video, or photos – Take a picture or record a video, and set how long you want your friends to be able to view it. Spice it up with emojis, a caption, or even some impromptu doodling. Or, if you feel that text is enough, start a chat with someone and write them a short message. Then send it off!
- Share the “story” of a day in your shoes – “Stories” function allows you to show off what goes on in a 24-hour period of your life. “Snaps” that you add to this function stay up for 24 hours, and your friends can view them as many times as they want!
- Made for mobile – Snapchat is meant to work on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers. Some people have found a way to make it work on desktop computers, but it requires the use of third-party programs.
- Moments are fleeting – Make sure that you’re really ready to view a snap or chat before you open it, because once it expires, you likely won’t be able to see it again! By the same token, make sure that any snap or chat gets its point across the first time!
- Maintain a bit of discretion – Just because Snapchat is privacy-conscious doesn’t mean that it’s totally private. People could still save content that you send them by taking a screenshot, taking a picture with a camera, or using a third-party program. Always be aware that what you send could be saved and even shared, and post accordingly.
The bottom line: 7/10
Snapchat is a creative way to communicate with the people you care about. It’s easy to add contacts, and the interface for sending content to your friends (and receiving it from them) is relatively straightforward and easy-to-use. In addition, the fact that most of what you send or receive gets deleted once you (or any other users) have seen it eases a bit of the anxiety when it comes to protecting your privacy and public image online.
Snapchat is not without flaws, however. It primarily only works on mobile devices, and only if other people you know are using it. Some people may not like the convention of deleting messages after they’re viewed, preferring to have a record that they can share with friends and family. And although Snapchat tries to be privacy-conscious, there are ways to preserve messages sent over it before they get deleted.
That’s about it for our review of Snapchat. If you’re looking to get started right now, head over to our next tutorial, which will teach you how to download and install the app, then move on to our tutorial on how to use Snapchat.