I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the appeal of SnapChat. She told me that she loved the app for its silliness (adding funny filters and text to her images), quickness (she can post an image or video to her “story,” and it immediately goes to all of her “friends”) and temporary-ness. I asked her to explain her last point. Her response: “When you post something on SnapChat it disappears in 24 hours. That’s not long enough for me to get in trouble for anything I post!”
What? When SnapChat first launched, a viewer had several seconds to enjoy a post before it disappeared. Many users thought this gave them a security filter, since their photos and comments would be permanently deleted so quickly.
Today, SnapChat has added save features which allow the sender and viewer to archive their images, videos, chats, and filters. This creates a whole new layer of precaution for SnapChat aficionados who rely on the platform’s quickness and temporary display of content to protect their reputation.
Some rules to remember when using SnapChat:
- What you post is public. As with any online form of communication (from Facebook to Instagram, to email and Instant Messaging), when you send an image or text to someone else, they can capture a screenshot, forward your message, or share your information on their own networks. There is no such thing as private online.
- The use of video and images is catching on. Tools like Pinterest, Instagram, and SnapChat play into our passion for all things visual. More and more, apps and sites that incorporate video and images are growing in popularity. Instead of resisting, embrace these platforms as tremendous ways to connect with your audiences online. Whether you’re targeting friends, family, hiring managers, clients, customers, etc., showing your personality, interests, and social side online presents you as well rounded. As long as you remember Rule #1.
- Anyone can follow you. Similar to LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, people can follow (friend) you on SnapChat without your knowledge. Many times, they find you by your username or interests, but you don’t have to approve them as connections, unless you change your privacy settings. Keep this in mind if you work with clients, are looking for a job, or care about your online profile (which should be everyone!). You might think you are just posting an inappropriate photo to your friends, but you are actually sharing with many others.
I’ve been getting to know SnapChat for a few weeks now (@LidaCitroen). It helps that my son is in town to show me the landscape! I find the platform fun and engaging and can see how large and small brands are using SnapChat to build awareness and engage with consumers. Have fun on SnapChat, but remember that what happens online, stays online…. forever!