Like Facebook, the infiltration of parents and grandparents on Instagram is one reason why millennials are reducing their time on both platforms. MTV Insights explains to Xers and boomers why, beyond the “constant barrage of sefies,” Snapchat may represent a shift in how millennials communicate.
Millennials believe Snapchat offers them an intimate, personal form of communication, and an authenticity they crave but aren’t finding elsewhere. Despite the fact that some shots are staged, Snapchat provides an “unpolished glimpse” into someone’s life. “It’s personal, but not too personal. Welcome to the future of communication,” said MTV.
First, Snapchat is much more than “just another app.” It lives in a unique sweet spot for millennials, providing a new level of intimacy while at the same time preserving a certain distance. The easiest way to think about it is falling somewhere between “real life conversation” and everyday social media feeds, which has interesting implications as to how millennials are changing the way they communicate today.
So what exactly is being shared on Snapchat? According to MTV:
Snapchats tend to be selfies (usually awkward) or photos of “random” things accompanied by equally random captions. One teen drew a face on a photo of an orange, and sent it along with the caption, “You are a good person.” A few teens talked about photos of themselves collapsed over homework with pained captions. Caitlin, 22, snuck a photo of a guy with a puggle in his man-purse for her puggle-loving sister. And if you are in the heat of a Snapchat convo and can’t think of a good image to accompany what you need to say, you simply take a photo of your thigh or bedroom wall. Artistic, well-thought-out photos are left to Instagram, where content is more “official.”
MTV also lists eight rules for ‘Snapchat–Iquette’ as defined by millennials:
Snapchat your crush first, text later. A group Snapchat is often an ice-breaker to one-on-one Snapchats, which are icebreakers to texting (where more “real” conversation happens). “It’s kind of weirdto text someone random, but you can Snapchat someone random and it’s seen as friendly,” Ellen, 19, explained.
Don’t open a Snapchat immediately – again, this depends on the desired relationship you are looking to cultivate. N/A if it’s your best friend. Definitely important if it’s your crush.
Check out the complete list and MTV’s short tutorial “Snapchat 101” at mtvinsights.com.