How Snapchat became everyone’s favorite form of entertainment

Junior Sam Jackson uses the app Snapchat at least five times an hour to converse with friends. “It’s my main source of communication,” he said.

“I have 11 streaks,” he said, referring to a fire emoji that appears next to a Snapchat friend’s name that means that you have “snapped” one another (or sent a message via Snapchat) within the last 24 hours for at least two days in a row.

“I feel like [streaks] are very nice to have if you have very close friends that you like to talk to daily,” he said. “It’s like a game. You can get these really high scores with people and it satisfies you.”

This game-like element of keeping track of your communication with a friend, he said, makes it “a better, more fun way to communicate with people.”

By now the app known as “Snapchat” has become common to people of various ages.

For the uninitiated, it is an app that allows people to take pictures or videos and send them to friend; the images last for 1-10 seconds before disappearing.

Snapchat first came out in September of 2011. The founders were college students who were doing a project at Stanford University. Snapchat was originally named “Picaboo.”

Their idea was to create a selfie app which allowed people to share images that were short-lived and self-deleting.

The short lived nature of the pictures would hopefully encourage lightheartedness and a more natural flow of interaction, in direct contrast to the careful cultivation of images posted on Instagram and Facebook. Its popularity at ARHS is a testament to that success.

Many love that Snapchat offers opportunities to change the shape of your face or add funky looking things to your surroundings; many give themselves animal ears or beautiful flower crowns called “geofilters.”

Senior Egeria Koehn-Cooper uses Snapchat everyday. “I don’t like texting,” she said. “I’d rather take a picture. I like the filters that Snapchat has.”

Snapchat also has “geotags,” which identify a location or an affiliation of a poster. For example our school has geotags that read “Amherst Regional High School” or “Amherst.”

Senior Keenan Morrissey also uses the app daily. He said that “keeping the streaks alive” is the main reason he uses Snapchat. People have become very possessive of streaks and keeping them.

“I have streaks. I’m not a big fan of them, but people get mad if I don’t respond and break the streaks,” he said.

Many people actually communicate back and forth to keep the streak. Others simply send selfies with no words or the famous one liner “streaks” to all the people they have streaks with to save the streaks. As Koehn-Cooper said, “Streaks are cool but, it gets annoying when you get those snapchats that just say streaks.”

According to Bloomberg, Snapchat is more popular than Twitter now. There are many factors that drive people to like the app.

Senior Dante Citino likes “sending funny pictures to people. It’s the only app that will do that,” he said. “If you send something crazy, they disappear so there’s no proof.”  

Foster also likes its convenience. “People check it more so it’s easy to get in touch,” she said. Because so many people have it now, many use it over texting.

Senior Ryan Dinger said a unique benefit is “you can really get emotion across in your communication; with texting you can’t.”