Recently I blogged about the distribution of fake news and how Facebook and Google are making it harder for people to peddle misinformation. While certain social media platforms were in the hot seat, Snap (formerly Snapchat) remained out of the spotlight. Snap is Facebook’s biggest competitor, so how did a social media platform with 150 million daily users manages to sidestep the issue?
Snap is a growing source of breaking news for users but there are a handful of reasons why the sometimes controversial social network doesn’t get brought up over debates about fake news. Snapchat is user-generated content that appears over a short period then poof it disappears. There have been many changes to Snapchat over the last few years they released filters, geo filters, and a news section to the app. The news that has been integrated is contained in a separate action they call Discover. The process that publishers go through to get content published is much more extensive, and Snapchat does a great job of vetting potential partners. The way that Snapchat operates is also very different than most platforms. Snap thrives on authenticity, not collecting likes and shares. Snapchat profiles do not display a follower count or even let users know how many followers they have. The app also doesn’t have any links for users to share so it makes it harder for snaps to go viral. Another way that Snap has helped stop the promotion of fake news stories is through a Live Story. This is a mashup of photos and videos of an event that work as a firsthand account and makes it difficult to alter this content. Snapchat is a very unique and somewhat experimental source of information, that is tightly managed. Whether that’s good or bad only time will tell. One thing that is for certain is practicing responsible sharing. Friends don’t let friends spread rumors.
The holidays are a time for family, food, drinks and posting all of it on Instagram, right? And if you don’t post your holiday festivities they might as well not have happened. I cannot recollect a time that I didn’t document my life on social media. At 14 I armed myself with a digital camera and a Myspace profile to give my friends and strangers an all access pass to my life, doing that has never seemed weird or out of place. I dare to say that not doing it seems more strange. In the last 14 years, my choice of social media and technology has changed. I have used the last 6 iPhones, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, and Tumblr to document milestones and life. My Facebook account is my longest relationship, Happy 10-year Anniversary to me! While I grew up with a sense of ease and comfort using social media and technology it doesn’t mean that it always came easy. There is a new social media app every year it seems and we all need to learn it to seem relevant. Snapchat was one of those apps for me. Initially, when millennials younger than I caught on to it I immediately dismissed it as some teenage fad and made fun of it. I made fun of it because I didn’t understand it. Snapchat has been around since 2011 but people in my circles didn’t start utilizing it until 2015. I avoided signing up because I didn’t want to ask people how it worked because I didn’t want to appear out of the know and I just didn’t care enough to Google it. I don’t think it was until their filters came out that I signed up. I sucked it up and asked my teenage cousin how it worked, to my dismay he didn’t make fun of me for being out of the loop. Quite the contrary. We sat there for a good 15 minutes bonding and practicing, it was great. My lesson is this, don’t be afraid of the unknown, looking dumb, or asking questions. The only constant in life is change and that includes technology. Be bold, evolve with it.