The popular messaging app SnapChat has been making the news rounds this morning as they have declined an acquisition offer of three billion dollars from Facebook. Most of you might be thinking the same thing that the majority of our editorial team did, “$3 billion for flashing your boobs seems like a lot of money.” But 350 million messages sent per day is nothing to scoff at.
Brands and celebrities are even starting to utilize the platform to get news out to their fans. Just this past Friday, Britney Spears used it to reveal the sexy new lyrics and cover of her new single “Perfume”.
Now I’m no expert on putting multi billion dollar valuations on companies with zero revenue, but I am an expert at using mobile messaging apps to maintain close relationships with friends I barely get to see. So for those of you who refuse to believe that the app is exclusively used for adolescent sexting, here are our top 5 non-pervy reasons that you should download and start using SnapChat.
1. It’s fun.
Twitter brings us news, Facebook brings us pregnancy photos, and Instagram give us major FOMO, whereas SnapChat is almost always fun. The messages erase themselves and have to be taken live (not uploaded) so there is no room for editing and no need to take your time composing the perfect selfie. Removing this pressure for capturing a temporary moment in time lifts the gravitas, and leaves the fun.
2. It’s easy to use.
SnapChat also has a great user experience that is on par with the top players in terms of ease, aesthetic, and an addictive return rate due to its exclusive use of friend generated content. You sign up, find your friends (from contacts and your other social media lists), take a picture or video, add some colorful scribbles or typed text, and send! Plus the adorable little ghost icon is really cute.
3. You get to witness friends doing things they would never normally do on camera.
And yes, we still mean this in a non-pervy way. People let their guard down a bit more than usual since the images disappear after a few seconds. We wouldn’t normally take photos of ourselves making Cara Delvigne-esque goofy faces or a short videos lip singing Lil Wayne’s “Stuntin Like My Daddy” without fear of future blackmail use, but SnapChat has now given us that low-risk freedom. You get to know your friends on a completely different level than before.
4. It’s funny to see smart people have poor handwriting.
Most of our SnapChat friends are other editors, so this might be a biased albeit still relevant point. When you spend day in and day out reading well crafted, eloquent emails and articles written by colleagues and respected writers, it is impossible to hold back a laugh when they scribble “Hey Betches! #Miley” in hot pink, kindergarden style writing on a 3 second video of them twerking in a bar. Simply, impossible.
5. Group Messaging has its perks.
More often than not, snaps are sent in a group message to a curated list of SnapChat friends. SnapChat groups are different than most other types of messaging groups, because you don’t see who else is in the group. Its one-way messaging, and receivers can choose to message you back individually or send back a message to a group of their choosing. This makes silly messages more private than Twitter, and it allows us to get videos and pictures to people without giving them pressure to write anything back.
6. It gives you a reason to communicate if you have nothing to say.
It might seem like you have plenty of different ways to communicate with people—why add one more? But sending a SnapChat is a way to send things that you’d like to share with your friends, but that may be too insignificant and awkward to send in a text, status update, or email. Is your friend dancing in an embarassing way? SnapChat. Did your small bucket of popcorn at the movies turn out to be hilariously large? SnapChat. Are you bored at the airport and want to make a fun video waving goodbye? Snapchat. Your friends will appreciate you sharing your precious moment (even if they choose not to participate in it) while not taking up any more of their photo album data space.
In an age of NSA snooping, and people posting entirely too much incriminating, personal content on more permanent social platforms, it’s refreshing to send something that disappears completely four seconds later (and yes, this time we mean the pervy stuff, too).