Fear and Loathing, Snapchat Edition

Hi, my name is Josh, and I don't understand Snapchat.

("Hi, Josh")

This is not an easy thing for me to admit, because it is the first platform that I have not immediately understood and been able to use like a pro, except for Ello, which was dumb and didn't count. I have always been an early adopter, and I handled Secret, Whisper, YikYak, Instagram, Twitter, and plenty of other new platforms with ease. Swash was way early to the Slack train and we are never looking back. Snapchat, however, has continued to elude me.

A recent addition to My Story

A recent addition to My Story


Snapchat is not dumb and it is very real and it is everywhere. The deficiency in this case is mine. I know people that actually use it as a primary form of communication with their friends. Snapchat commands a huge and growing audience that is super valuable to advertisers, and that's why their opening minimum for advertising on their platform was $750,000 or GTFO. Now in a time when  major publishers are being given the gift of native publication on Facebook, many of those same publishers are hiring Snapchat experts. Which is apparently a thing you can be.

I can't (and shouldn't) turn my nose up at that, because being able to quickly understand new platforms is an important part of the work of a modern ad agency, both on the creative and media sides.  We are very good at this and regularly deploy to new platforms on behalf of our clients, and this is true even if I don't immediately have a brand that wants to spend three quarters of a million dollars for a day on Snapchat.

The problem isn't that I don't understand how to use Snapchat. It is that I don't understand the why of it. I think the issue, for me, is that the content is so eminently disposable. This is probably the appeal to my younger colleagues and friends who create consistently funny Snapchat stories. Nina is good at it. So is Andi. And it is a big blind spot for me because I didn't immediately like it, so I felt bad at it, or vice versa. The doing of it didn't seem fun, so I kept putting it down.

So: I need to learn Snapchat, and just like I tell my clients, I believe that the why and the fun of the platform will be revealed once I apply myself. You can go on this journey with me by adding me at jberthume.

Here's my snapcode! Or something!