Monday, October 26, 2015

Why I love Snapchat

Yes, I know. To you it might seem almost ridiculous for a grown woman to admit loving Snapchat. You see your kids poring over it with their friends, so it might seem akin to admitting I like playing with Legos. But that's only because you probably have no idea what Snapchat really is.

For starters, Snapchat is a pretty handy way to visually capture a story. Take this "My Story" I created on a recent trip to Salt Lake City (forgive the twitchy quality, it looked much better when live.) It's fun to make, and it's fun to view.

"My Story" is a beautiful encapsulation of an entire day.

Truth is, I can think of countless things I wish I had "My Story" downloads of. Plenty of trips I took with friends and my husband would be much more enjoyably remembered with My Story downloads instead of just photos and individual videos. Not only does it let me capture what's happening, it lets me add commentary and, in this case, a bit of sarcasm. I also like viewing my friends' Snapchat stories, especially when they travel or visit cool places and events. It's like I get to be right there with them while they walk through the Coliseum, visit Times Square or head out on a sailing boat in Maui.

Secondly, Snapchat has a Discovery section on it where I can view daily videomags from some pretty great publications. Food Network, CNN, ESPN, Tastemade. Every day they present an entirely new series of articles and videos, all in snackable size and format. I'm hooked. As my data overage for last month certainly supports.

Add to that the Live events. Imagine watching Monday Night Football from the seats of a dozen different fans who are capturing things as they happen. Things that make being at the game more fun than just watching it on tv. And now imagine you can do both -- watch it on tv while you view the Live Snapchat feed. It's more fun that you'll want to admit. And if you're at the game, adding your snaps to the story lets you participate on a national scale. This year I had a front row seat for Lollapalooza and never left my office.

Local feeds are also fun. Not only can I see what is happening around Chicago, I can 'visit' other places all around the world with the swipe of a finger.

There's a lot more to love about Snapchat. From geofenced filters and fun lenses that help me personalize my own snaps, to the fact that I can step into the lives of my family and friends and see what's going on in their world no matter where I am. Trust me, it's addictive, and not nearly as 'millenial' as your kids might want you to believe. The Tastemade and Food Network Discover feeds alone are worth the time.

Snapchat is a free app, and you can get it right here on the Apple App Store, or here on Google Play. And if you're embarrassed to admit you like it, you don't even need to tell your kids you have it. ;-)