Written by: Yoo Young Lee, AAE for CWU College of Arts and Humanities
According to Martin-Wilbourn Partners, Snapchat is now “the third most popular social network among millennials.”
I personally use Snapchat way more than I do Facebook, but you will be surprised how many people are on the same boat with me. What differentiates Snapchat from Facebook, the biggest social media in the world, or pretty much any other social medias is that you don’t have to worry about your pictures to be on the internet forever-unless your friends are mean enough to screenshot your embarrassing photos and keep them for themselves, but that’s your choice of friends! Especially the live stories Snapchat just added to their features are blowing the concept of Snapchat just being a little app where you can exchange photos.
This is worldwide now, and a number of companies are jumping in to advertise themselves. Not only putting few-seconds ads, companies are making their own Snapchat account where the public can constantly check out their new trends and products.
We can’t forget to talk about the filters, either. As much as they are loved by most of the world, there have been some downs since Snapchat presented the filters including Snapchat being race insensitivity with the Bob Marley filter. Snapchat quickly explained themselves to the angry crowds shortly after, and it seemed to be calming down. However, there is one existing filter that is still controversial. The speed filter. The critics insist that the filter causes people to speed so they can mark the higher number to send it to their friends. Actually, Snapchat recently got sued for the filter in April by an Uber driver Wentworth Maynard, an 18-year-old Christal McGee was driving over 100mph trying to send a Snap with the filter when she crashed his car back in September.
On the day the suit was filed, Snapchat collaborated with The Advertising Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and publicized a filter that says “I won’t Snap and drive.” According to PRWeek, a Snapchat spokesperson emailed PRWeek regarding the incident, stating that “No Snap is more important than someone’s safety”. Snapchat alarms about danger of distracted driving and try to encourage people not to use Snapchat while they are driving. The incident could have ruined Snapchat’s reputation, but two weeks already had gone by since the lawsuit and not many people seemed to be aware of the case.
Completely from PR professional perspective, Snapchat did a fascinating job preventing the leak of the news about the incident on media. Also, they quickly responded to the incident making them look sympathetic towards the incident by coming up with anti-distracted driving filters; however it would have brought up some better reputation to Snapchat if they continuously alarmed the public about the incident, and straight forward responsibility.