09 May Snapchat: Less is More?
In case you haven’t sent Snapchat selfies to your friends since May 1st, you might not be aware of the video chat and text messaging options that now exist. What began in 2011 as a fleeting photo messaging app has now developed into a more inclusive platform for well-rounded communicating. The advent of Snapchat grew quickly among a younger demographic, one where taking selfies and doodling in paint on said selfies seemed like an entertaining idea. We can’t know whether the text and video chat availability will help, hinder, or have little effect on Snapchat’s success. However, we can certainly assess the value on mobile design cross demographic?
Competing with other social media
The beauty of Snapchat in its primitive form is its simplicity. Sometimes, less is more. And, whether or not the basic photo sending app was or will be more effective in its initial state, we have yet to uncover. The issue arises when we consider the competitors that Snapchat will now face, after so conveniently avoiding them since 2011. Messaging platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp have already posited themselves as big dogs in the messaging world. And, while they might very well be the most successful undertakers of late, Snapchat has a competitive edge with its fleeting messages.
Changing user interface
With functionality change also comes some slight user interface change. The new text and video chat options encourage real-time communication. Users simply swipe their friend’s name to the right and immediately begin texting a message. This text message lets your friend know that you are there in real time. Should both users be present, they can hold the video button down and video chat in real time. While the highly desirable privacy features of Snapchat’s origin are still preserved, they face steep competition in regard to text messaging and video chatting behaviors of past. With FaceTime and older text messaging methods, it might be hard to break those older habits with mere privacy and ephemeral messaging.
There will logically be skeptics present among anything successful that undergoes change. Change is not always a bad thing, when desirable aspects are left in place and the change addresses attractive, useful, and simple actions that competitors fall short on.