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Snapchat Passes Twitter in Daily Usage (bloomberg.com)
376 points by iamben on June 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 292 comments



30something here -

It took me a while to "get" Snapchat, but in my opinion there is no better way to keep up with friends and family digitally than via Snapchat Stories.

You can post pretty shamelessly the little things you're up to all day to your story, knowing it will be gone in 24 hours, keeping your feed really clean. Posting more than once or twice a day to Instagram/Facebook seems excessive, Twitter is a bit more of a firehose than a way to see what everyone is doing.

It took me a bit to get used to the interface, but the goofiness of the entire service is so enjoyable, including all their filters and whatnot.

I've noticed myself spending way more time on Snapchat than on other services as of late, even in my "old age for social media."


There is nothing to "get". It's all the same. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. People want a free way to broadcast to their friends. Someone invents a service that does that. Slowly ads take over. Now the stream needs to be "curated". It's no longer a timeline. It's no longer sensible. Now you can no longer reliably broadcast to your friends. People search for a new service that did what the old service used to do. They don't even realize that's what they are doing, but that's what they are doing. I've done this myself now what, a half dozen times? Every 2 years you have to do it again.

It's the same damn model. It's all the same thing. Sometimes I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Does no one see this?

Snapchat will rule until he ads take over. Your stories will slowly be interrupted by ads. Then your stories will fall out of time sync and you'll only get some updates or a "Featured Updates" or some other features that's really just a way to prioritize and guarantee ad delivery. And while this is happening someone will put out something new, that essentially does what Snapchat originally did in a slightly different format. Maybe square instead of portrait or GIF or Live Photo or whatever. But it's all the same thing. This game will continue forever.

All people want is a way to broadcast into a stream of content, and view other people's content in a timeline. That's it. It works for a while until you get too big. Then you can't pay for it and you have to start inject ads and resorting the timeline until it's no longer a timeline or it's a timeline full of all this stuff no one ever wanted or asked for.

When I was 15 I'd get home from school and run to my computer to check my favorite message board. I'd hit "New Posts" and see all the content from my friends. Cool new video game discussion, new video card benchmarks, some photos someone uploaded, some rant. Honestly, nothing has really changed in 15 years except the format of the content has been continuously updated to be technically (and culturally) relevant. But a post is still a post.


The thing that people tend to miss about Snapchat is that it has a really creative monetization strategy.

I actually like Snapchat ads, while I hate ads everywhere else and install ad blockers on all my devices. The sponsored filters tend to be really fun, and I end up sending and receiving multiple pictures over the course of the day that used the sponsored filter.

And the ads in Vice, Buzzfeed, and other stories are well crafted to fit in with the content. The ads feel like snaps from friends, rather than the spammy, low quality crap that you see in other places on the internet.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have awkward, disruptive ad systems, but Snapchat already has a successful ad system that people actually enjoy interacting with, and that is amazing.


>...it works for a while until you get too big. Then you can't pay for it and you have to start inject ads...

In a rather serendipitious stroke Snapchat don't have to maintain armies of servers to hold years of user data (unlike Facebook or Twitter). I think this will help them a lot in the long run in keeping their costs low and advertising to a minimum.

This topic actually reminds me of that great Gavin Belson rant in Silicon Valley:

Gavin Belson: "Data creation is exploding. With all the selfies and useless files people refuse to delete on the Cloud - 92% of the world's data was created in the last two years alone. At the current rate, the world's data storage capacity will be overtaken by next Spring. It will be nothing short of a catastrophe: data shortages, data rationing, data black markets... Datageddon!"


I don't think so. I'm sure anything older than a year on FB goes on some sort of extra-slow storage, which is likely why their search is crap and will forever be crap.

The real expense for FB is likely to be in guaranteeing realtime sync between dozens of platforms and gazillions of clients. All that JS and PHP has to be coded up and served somehow...

Same for Twitter -- everyone remembers the "whale" when they were struggling with infrastructure pains, then they massively invested to sort that out... and ended up chasing profits to pay for it all, of course.

Snapchat will soon get there as well.


I agree. I just deleted Instagram from my phone (for unrelated reasons), but one thing I've noticed recently in my somewhat irregular usage of that service is that it started to inject ads and "promoted content" in between the posts of people I follow. Frankly, it's fucking annoying. But the point is, Instagram seems to be entering the "ad phase" you're describing.


> It's all the same. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. People want a free way to broadcast to their friends.

That's only one use-case. I don't use Twitter at all to broadcast to my friends. I broadcast political opinion and tech humor to whomever it may concern, and receive condensed insights from public figures whom I find relevant for me.


I would argue that "purposeful" users like yourself are in the minority.


>Someone invents a service that does that. Slowly ads take over.

The problem really is that no one wants to pay for services, or no one is willing to try charging for their services. Ads are the "safe" option, but it will also make your users leave in the long run.

I was pretty baffled when a publisher wrote that they would rather make money from ads on their site, than make money from people buying a subscription. Service like Twitter, Snapchat and what not seems to be the same way, there's no desire to try anything but ads.

It is still my belief that at some point some large seller of physical goods will announce that they're pull their online ads due to lack of profitability. After that the entire online media business will be forced to charge their users, and we'll all be better off. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.


> or no one is willing to try charging for their services

app.net tried, but it was not successful.


In Germany, especially since Snowden, there is a healthy niche for paid mail providers, such as posteo.de or mailbox.org. I pay 1€ per month for my mailbox because it allows me to be certain that I'm the customer, not the product.


I pay a little more for KolabNow, but I'm happy to do it.


So what is the alternative? We don't want to pay, we don't want ads.. how else can these things make money?


My alternative isn't one that most people would accept, but I'd be fine with money losing companies ceasing to exist.

I'm fairly confident that Snapchat could make money charging their users, if the fee is sufficiently small. Say $10 per year, perhaps as an in-app purchase, with the first 6 month being free.

We also may have to accept that some of these companies, Twitter seems the most obvious, isn't actually providing anything of tangible value to the average user and therefore can't exist. Of cause if some investors wants to keep throwing money at Twitter to keep the lights on, they're more than welcome. I know I'm not exactly being friendly towards Twitter, but it's a great example of a company that needs to fail. The only reason they don't is because investors have already wasted so much money that they're desperately trying so save it in hope of making the money back, by some miracle. Part of it might also be that investors, journalists and bankers are so heavy users of Twitter that they fail to see that the business isn't sustainable.

In the end the user will always be the one to pay the bill. Either by directly paying, or indirectly via advertising.


I pretty much use Facebook to follow local companies I'm interested in (as it is currently useless for personal interests at this time). I doubt I'm alone in using Facebook in this manner. I've sometimes wondered if ultimately Facebook could monetize off of that.

(Even on this angle, the problem right now is that Facebook's ad algorithm is a bit, er, dumb. At least, it hasn't figured out that I'm far more interested in local business X, Y, and Z that I'm following and not whatever unrelated spam some megagiantcorp is pushing...)


Following companies is a "pull" method that would not generate significant revenue. Facebook corporate customers want to be able to push, and that's why we have ads.

I firmly believe product placement, and the information exchange that surrounds it, is _the_ monetization scheme. Unfortunately, not only Facebook's ad algorithm is broken, but pretty much everyone else's. They have come a long way nonetheless, ad targeting today is one order of magnitude better that it was only a few years back.

People want advice not advertisements. When someone has money to spend and a need to fulfill, to have the right "advisor" is an incredibly valuable asset. Imagine a bot that knows my tastes, my assets and basically my life. This advanced bot could psyche me, at the right time, into making valuable and exciting purchases. A bot I could trust would succeed turning my money into happiness. That's the direction current algorithms have taken, with ever-increasing (and rather suspicious) omnipresence in our lives, grabbing any input they can get their hands on. The key difference is that companies look after their interests instead of mine.


Is it a possibility that these services eventually tank due to this very reason? They just get kept afloat long enough for a run of VCs to make some money, until the sucker VCs at the end put up with the loss from the company folding?


Why do they have to make money? The infrastructure is only non-trivial because it's being centralized; if we ran this sort of thing as a distributed network, it could be done "for free".


Maybe the alternative is to structure social media platforms as non-profits?


I think you are taking the abstraction too far. True, there are some very significant similarities but there are also differences and although they may be subtle, such differences can lead to vastly different uses. Facebook and Twitter were never "officially" about posting short-lived, single-view posts the way Snapchat is and I for one never used them like that (and I've been on both for many years).

You might be right about ads eventually ruining it, but that doesn't mean that it's otherwise identical.


I honestly don't think you get it. I've lived through all major social networks and the only one I've shared stuff on is Snapchat. It's a major breakthrough for me.


Sounds like the one who doesn't get it is you.


Nope, you are definintely the one who doesn't get it considering you're completely missing why Snapchat is a different beast.


Elaborate please.

Why is it different?


You're not taking crazy pills. You're spot on.


This.

This. This. This. This. This.

I believe the value of the social networking platform to a user is inverse to the maturity of the company.

Facebook has already become choked with it's own content and advertisements so the next generation migrate to a "cleaner" platform. The centre of gravity shifts. New platform monetises and the choking cycle begins anew...

The stages -

Stage 1:

Platform Exclusivity

Platform Coveted

Platform Expanded

Stage 2:

Platform Opened

Platform Developed (upon)

Platform Expanded

Stage 3

Platform Monetised

PLatform Curated

Platform Locked (to previous developers to protect revenue streams)

Stage 4

Platfrom Alternatives

Platform Decline

Platform Obsolescence

You could, quite easily Venn Diagram where the current social media services are and how they are eating the older's market share. As platforms lock developers out, other pre-revenue companies are opening up to those developers stealing previously allegiant demographics.


Perhaps I'm missing something but I don't see or don't recognize any ads. Is this just because you're using the app whereas I'm using a browser with an ad blocker? Or do you see ads more when you poke around looking at groups and games and whatever (I just spend a few minutes a week looking at friends posts and rarely comment or post any of my own content;i really only joined for Messenger)


You don't see ads on Facebook?

It must be the ad blocker. 70% of the real estate via browser is ad based.

Those ads don't include promoted posts from pages you elected to follow.

The majority of content on FB is promotional.


Holy crap! I had no idea.


What? Not sure what has inspired your sarcasm.

I and another poster are discussing the UX experience which differs between browser with ad-blocker and other versions.

Thy kind of sarcasm is not really meant for HN. Do you have an opinion of substance?


Maybe dhimes uses adblock and literally had no idea that there were ads on FB. I have been using ABP for about a year and never see ads on FB. I literally had no idea that 70% of the real estate is filled with ads either until you said something about it.


You are correct.


Then yeh...HN is not really that kind of space.


I don't understand this comment. Backing out of your apology? Perhaps you should have a gander at how long I've been here before you become HN cop.

Perhaps I misunderstand this comment. I use adblock on Facebook. I don't see all of the ads in your imgur pic. I seriously had no idea it was so advertisement-laden.


Then I apologise for the snark. I thought it was sarcasm.

Here is a look into FB without ad blocker

https://imgur.com/gallery/d10Cb


One thing I did learn early is to never "like" anything sponsored. You will be associated with it in your friends' news feeds until you die. Actually, it may not end there.


yeah no, snapchat was never a timeline and thats what was good about it

you want to be connected with someone because you are friends but don't like the random shit they post but don't want to unfriend them? thats a problem for a different social network but not snapchat


It is a timeline though. I open Snapchat and I see all the messages and stories, in order—sorted by time. It's not jumbled, there's no features. There's no "Featured" or "Top Stories" or "Retweets". It's just a timeline of content. From people I follow or people I know who have sent things to me.

My Snapchat looks just like my Twitter did in 2008, except with a few more boobs.


ok

by definition of timeline correct, by UX of timeline no. it doesn't show you what it is without you explicitly diving into that story


What are you talking about? I open Snapchat and it's literally two timelines, a private one and a public one. They are in order and timestamped. By definition and by UX. It is perhaps a quintessential example of a timeline of content.


You are the one being pedantic in this case.

Sorry a list of content sorted by time is a timeline. I don't know what else you call that.


>You can post pretty shamelessly the little things you're up to all day to your story, knowing it will be gone in 24 hours, keeping your feed really clean.

This is the part I still don't get. Why would I want to constantly spam my friends with trivial photos of my daily life? Disappearing spam is still spam.

I'm 28, nobody I know uses snapchat/instagram/whatever so I haven't actually used it. If it's something I actually want to share, I don't care if it's gone in 24 hours and it's dead simple to just message them directly.


Thirty something here. The stories aren't spam since they don't trigger notifications and you have to intentionally click on them to watch. When i'm not feeling social I ignore snapchat, when i am, i know i can check in and see what my friends are doing.


I'm still lost. Maybe I just have radically different friends than everyone else here, but if I really have some pressing need to know what they're doing on a given day, I just ask them. Nobody cares about the day-to-day minutia, and if it was interesting, stuff like FB or regular messages work just fine.

Like most social media apps, this just feels like a solution in search of a problem (except for sexting).


You are right to be confused. "Social sharing" came out of Snapchat marketing department when it became obvious you couldn't build a long-term business on a product that was synonymous with sexting.

Snapchat's core is still revolving around soft erotic eye candy that's developed into a cottage industry at this point http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-arsenictv-snapchat-in... Now that they've got your attention there, they are bringing in media partners like BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly and celebrities http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-snapchat-built-a-... to fill up your feed with a stream of bite-size updates.

Peer-to-peer ephemeral messaging is no longer emphasized in the app, they are building a media destination to divert eyeballs away from TV, YouTube, Vine, Facebook or Twitter, in that rough order. Referring to ephemeral social messaging at this point as akin to bringing up Yahoo! as a directory of web links.


Not trying to be mean here, but I'm having quite the time watching you try to grok Snapchat. To me your argument reads like "why would I send someone a text message when I can call them?" when text messaging was first becoming popular.

When you have more than a handful of friends that you're trying to keep in touch with, are you really going to ask every single one of them what they're up to each day? Snapchat solves this in a fun way.


> When you have more than a handful of friends that you're trying to keep in touch with, are you really going to ask every single one of them what they're up to each day?

Good god why would I care?

I imagine this difference in attitude accounts for some of the confusion over snapchat's purpose.


> Good god why would I care?

If you're not interested in what your friends are up to, why are you friends with them in the first place? Maybe they're really just acquaintances?

Like you said, maybe it's a difference in attitude. Still, I recommend you giving it a shot to get a better idea of what it is. I also thought it was dumb at first.


> > > When you have more than a handful of friends that you're trying to keep in touch with, are you really going to ask every single one of them what they're up to each day?

> > Good god why would I care?

> If you're not interested in what your friends are up to, why are you friends with them in the first place? Maybe they're really just acquaintances?

if I would care about what every single friend of mine is doing each day, it would be difficult to live a life for myself.


Compare sitting at the bus stop alone or with a friend. Which one is more enjoyable? If you prefer to be alone, then maybe you already have too much social interaction and need more alone time. If you prefer to have some kind of personal connection with another human even when there's no obvious practical value in the content of what you're communicating, then I think that's what snapchat provides.

Most people crave this human interaction every day.


> Compare sitting at the bus stop alone or with a friend. Which one is more enjoyable?

The latter. But there's a big gap between "If you prefer to have some kind of personal connection with another human" and "are you really going to ask every single one of [your 20 friends] what they're up to each day?".


You don't have to care about what every single friend of yours is doing every single day.

I'm sure I don't have the typical use case, but as an expat, I have friends spread out all over the world. Usually I don't see anything from them on Snapchat, but when they're going on a hike somewhere beautiful, attending an event, or having fun otherwise, I get to see it and thereby "keep in touch". I get to see what my little cousins are doing at home as they grow up (which is quite annoyingly "snap back for a rate" or some nonsense I won't pretend to understand), and even see what their mother is cooking for dinner when she shares that.

If you don't like it, don't use it. But don't be fooled into thinking it's just pictures of lunch from people at their 9-5 office jobs. Even many of us with 9-5 jobs have something interesting to share, at least on an afternoon or weekend.


But how can you validate your own existence, if you don't have other lives to compare it against?! ;)

I think the whole phenomenon is fascinating - people these days can't experience anything without photographing it, or updating their status about it. It's as if they need to prove that it really happened.


Humble brag/narcissism. One of the main ingredients to fuel social networks.

It's not that it doesn't exist in physical gatherings, it's just way more concentrated online because of convenience.


Sometimes it's just a nice past time as well. Oh i'm sat waiting for the train, might as well see what everyone is up to today/last night.


I have friends I care about, but I don't need to know what they are up to every day any more than they need to know about me, let alone every hour of every day.


Quite an interesting concept of friends you have there.


That's probably not true. When you're just socializing in real life, you're probably sharing all kinds of meaningless "updates" about yourself. Statements, jokes, expressions, etc that aren't important individually, nobody wants to keep records of and you don't care if they get missed. You wouldn't ask your friends to tell you those things because they're so trivial, but they're still how people enjoy each other's company. That's a lot of what friends do when they're together - share minutia. To me, Snapchat is kind of like that but on the internet.


I think "solution in search of a problem" is a fine description, and not really a bad thing. Nobody says "I want a photo sharing app" and downloads Snapchat after doing some research. You get it because your friends have it, and you keep using it because you enjoy it. If your friends aren't using it, then you won't like it because there won't be anything to do.


> this just feels like a solution in search of a problem (except for sexting)

ahhh the old-millenial-stuck-in-2013 version of snapchat

Follow @ArsenicTV, while your finance buddies snap you insider merger and acquisition tips on stocks, and then tell me you "don't get Snapchat"

get w/ it


Snapchat is just another fad in the undying trend of reinventing email "in new and exciting ways."


don't you mean reinventing speech - the original form of communication?


But...why?

Why do you want people to see what you ate?

Is everyone here living more interesting lives than me? I mean, my stories will be just the same old lunch and dinner pics, working before a computer, commuting to and from work...


If you make something interesting, I might want to get the recipe off you and try it myself, or ask if you'd like to make it for the next social thing I host.

If you go somewhere I haven't been to (or it's a place I go to often but never tried what you got) and it looks like something I'd be interested in trying, I'll ask about your experience and maybe go sometime (or set up a dinner event there).

There's been a few times that this has been the case, for me.


Some people are.

Or not everybody shares their everyday activities, just when something worth sharing actually occurs


> Why do you want people to see what you ate?

Oh man. So at the after party of a recent wedding, the Bride had to post a picture of her nachos.


Ahh, so maybe the appeal is its non-spamness? In that it doesn't clog up any kind of inbox?


They are spam if I have to deal with them at all. Even skipping over things I'm not interested in is spam to me. It got so bad on FB I installed FB Purity. I have about 15 filters in there. Two to filter out one of my friend's posts who posts a pictures of every single meal every single day. I don't want to unfriend him nor unfollow him but his meal posts are spam to me.

How would this be any different in Snapchat? I'd still have all these meal spam pics to skip over.


Exactly. The "Fear Of Missing Something Important" explained in https://medium.com/swlh/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds...


Why don't you ask them if you want to know what they are doing?

I still don't get it.


I am amazed this sentiment keeps popping up over and over in this thread. Asking them is exactly the kind of synchronous, flow-breaking communication that programmers should be keenly aware of. People are naturally discovering that polling is worse than event driven notifications, and it's great to watch.

There are plenty of arguments to make in favor of synchronous, face-to-face etc communication, about the loss of privacy when you broadcast everything you do, about the lack of personal engagement in this kind of communication, and so on. I can see making a judgement call whether to participate in this kind of communication, because there are plenty of drawbacks and negatives.

However, it's obvious to me why people are willingly switching some(most?) of their communication to it. Just as we learned to use asynchronous I/O in place of synchronous, we started using multicast messages and event-driven notifications instead of polling over all your friend-handles "hey what did you do today". It seems like a natural progression to me.


Great way to put it so that a technologist can understand. A lot of my best friends came from passive serendipitous interactions on FB that built into the kind strong and familiar enough to turn into "synchronous" interactions.


I think this may be largely an introvert vs. extrovert type distinction. I'm with you - I don't see the point. Twitter is the social network I've come closest to enjoy using, because of the loose expectations around it. I share stuff I find interesting on occasion, but very rarely anything about myself.

In terms of "social" I see it as a mostly-write type environment - I don't sweat that I ignore 90% of what the people I follow write, and I mostly follow people for updates/news/commentary rather than social contact.

But then I'm very aware that I'm very introverted. I like social contact in moderation, but it exhausts me, and every now and again I just get "social burnout" and turns into a total recluse for months on end.

What doesn't work for me about Snapchat is primarily that it is video. Video to me is "high touch" - it takes much more energy than writing a tweet, and similarly watching a video requires magnitudes more attention than rapidly scanning past a bunch of tweets.


One word: friction.


pictures and videos are more expressive than words


I didn't understand that statement, could you perhaps draw an explanatory diagram for me?


Thank you, Gilfoyle.

I'm with you though.


> Why would I want to constantly spam my friends with trivial photos of my daily life? Disappearing spam is still spam.

I think the difference here is that because the photos disappear after 24 hours, the expectation for quality is lowered. Also the fact that the photos are trivial is part of the attraction. There aren't as many expectations on Snapchat as on Twitter. Sometimes it's just nice to see your friends' face, and Snapchat is good for that.


I don't use SnapChat, but once you have children, your parents and siblings are interested in seeing the funny little day to day things your kids do. 5 seconds here and there of eating breakfast, getting dressed for the day, running around, etc. Twitter and Instagram don't really cover that use case well at all.

I use private photos/videos on Instagram to share those things with my family, but it's very clunky and would feel like spamming to send more than 2-3 curated photos per day. I gather that with SnapChat there is far less curation.


We use groupchat in WhatsApp. Two separate groups, one for each side of the family. Works ok but I can kinda begin to see the benefit of snapchat's ephemeral attitude even though I haven't tried it myself. However I don't se my wife's mother wanting to switch. She's retired and finds a great deal of joy of revisiting old movies of the kids. She would want to save the snaps anyways but I guess you can do that?


> I don't use SnapChat, but once you have children, your parents and siblings are interested in seeing the funny little day to day things your kids do.

No they aren't interested. They are just too nice to tell you to stop spamming them.


Not sure why you've responded in such a presumptive and negative way. I find it rude. Maybe your family isn't close and it's not something you can identify with?

My immediate family are always interested. I don't bombard extended family or friends though many still voluntarily follow feeds dedicated to the children.


for me living ~30 hours flight from my nearest family, getting short snapchats of whatever things they're up-to, however trivial, makes them seem so much closer. And given that they're less likely to be 'staged' instagram/fb photos, it seems more real to me.


>> for me living ~30 hours flight from my nearest family,

Where in the world do you and your family live? I imagine you must be in Antarctica?


GP is probably including the time it takes to get to the airport, get through the baggage drop, security and boarding procedures, as well as get from the airport to their destination. It can easily add up if both they and their family live in places far from their respective airports, and we're talking intercontinental flight.


Probably, it takes me almost 30 hours to get from the UK to Australia if you could airport transfers and stopovers.


Yep, and add +4 to get to NZ and +2 being in "not London" in the UK for me.


Sometimes you just want to share a photo from your daily routine with your family to just let them know you are ok. So not so trivial. In this context why should I have to think about how relevant this stuff is hanging around 5 years from now.


Why would you think about whether it was relevant in 5 years? I've literally never cared or thought about that when sending those kinds of messages. It's just a basic picture, not sexting or something else potentially sensitive.

I don't understand why I should force everyone I know to install yet another random social media app when a regular message works just fine.


Ok, we understand that you don't get it but what's with the tone where you're basically disputing Snapchat's success? This is a popular way of communicating these days. Deal with it. Snapchat is the only social media I've ever shared anything on. For me it's revolutionary.


Where do you live?


Colorado.


Crazy. I'm two years younger than you and everybody I know uses Snapchat.


> This is the part I still don't get. Why would I want to constantly spam my friends with trivial photos of my daily life?

That is the decease of our age. People really can't see the narcissism needed to keep all of these social networks going.


For all the talk of Snapchat being confusing, I think that Twitter is more confusing and hostile to new users than is Snapchat. And I'm also in my 30s.

I've had a Twitter account for like eight years now and I'm still not sure how to have a conversation with someone. And trying to read a conversation with many replies confounds me every time.


It doesn't help that Twitter is unbelievably slow, and loaded with on-demand loading and other nonsense that would be much faster (and possibly lighter) if they just loaded replies with expandos.

And then I'm following a conversation in a shitty popup above my feed, click "view more replies" and suddenly I'm on someone else's twitter profile and not my news feed? And I press "back" and I have to scroll back to where I was in my feed?

Twitter's UX is horrendous.


I don't understand why these giant social media behemoths are so bad at web design which should be one of their core competences. Another example is Instagram hijacking middle click, so I can't open images in new tabs.


I agree the threading in Twitter is a train wreck. I like Twitter because it's great for super-local things, but it definitely fails at conversations even beyond the length limit.


They are different kinds of confusing. Twitter is fundamentally confusing (for all the reasons mentioned - @'s, reply, RT, etc..)

Snapshot's confusing part is only in the strange UI decisions of the app itself. Those I feel they could easily remedy.


This exactly.

While I think Twitter could improve their UI by leaps and bounds, Snapchat's UI is just incomprehensible. However I'm a strong believer in it being 100% intentional at this point.


I don't find it to be incomprehensible. I think it makes sense once you get using it, but it's definitely a non-native feel on any OS. I, too, absolutely agree that it's intentional. Keeps the grandmas from using it and once people figure it out there's a great connection to the app - people have invested in it and felt the reward of understanding its intricacies.


Twitters UI developed around how people used Twitter. hashtags, RT, @mention all evolved from the massive userbase. Twitter is a platypus.


Just out or curiosity, what part of snapchat's UI did you find confusing?


Mostly the navigational system is a mess - and feels of duct taped features without ever a desire to go in and clean it up.

Some points from just using it now:

- The strange lower left/lower right hamburger slide out menu things with odd icons. Right one leads to news, left one leads to snaps.

- When you go to the lower, right hamburger thingy - to go "back" there is a camera (not a back chevron/arrow) at the top left. Go experience it - it is weird.

- You can swipe down from the main camera view to get your profile. Took my 31 year old ass a year to discover that.

- The view snap vs. message view is just... no. I know what it does and I still input wrong.


Glad it's not just me. Approaching 30, I've been using twitter for 2-3 years, yet I still have no idea how to view the tweets that are relevant to me, or why, suddenly, twitter insists on pushing updates to my phone when people who _aren't_ relevant to me 'like' something.

I know there are 'lists' on twitter. I tried adding my friends to a 'friend' list so that I could actually see their tweets amongst the sea of noise. However, that seemed to accomplish absolutely nothing. The only time I see tweets relevant to me are when I happen to already be looking at twitter when they pop up. And since I only look at twitter when queueing in a line, I almost never see the things that would make twitter useful for me.

But hey, PracticalDeveloper retweeted _something_ today, Twitter told me that. So... there ya go.


Both are crap. For one, neither has a UI instruction area. I get that you want to create a UI that doesn't require instructions, but why does that prevent you from making an instruction regardless?


I still don't understand the draw of either of them, but obviously they're wildly popular for some reason, so bully for them. If I want to start a conversation with someone I call them up or E-mail them. I don't need to download some mobile app or to log in to some 3rd party service to do either of these. You can even send pictures through E-mail and delete them in 24 hours if you want.

How in the world did humanity keep in touch with their family before Snapchat?


Yes but the receiver of your email doesn't necessarily have to delete your email, which is the key distinction of what makes the service useful.


I have to disagree.

What makes Snapchat popular is their use of pictures. Turning the thesis of your point into a totally public, 160 character or less, textual format is effort. A lot of effort.

Pictures are what they are. They're also extremely difficult to parse (no practical reason to retain your message, deletion is a cost effective decision), and they're the easiest thing in the world to make. Who wants to carefully word your tweets when your camera will do?


Because the camera limits you to visual content. You cannot do https://twitter.com/MicroSFF or https://twitter.com/sadserver with images.


That's another thing I don't understand--how is "automatically deleting" a feature? Why would I care if the recipient eventually deletes something I send them? I've literally never given any thought to what people do with E-mails I sent them, since it doesn't affect me at all. They can print it and hang it on their wall or take a screenshot of it and use it as their desktop background for all I care.


Flip it and look at it from the other side. Your inbox filling up with emails and attachments creates cognitive load; you have to decide what to do with all of them eventually. When you're consuming stories/snaps you see it, and it's gone. No overhead.


Additionally, if you needed something that did need persisted you would hopefully have the wit to send it on another service (e.g. email) so automatic filtering for all recipients.


It also makes you check Snapchat more because you know that the stuff will be deleted - which results in using it more often and being addicted to it.

Social media novelty machine 2.0.


>but obviously they're wildly popular for some reason

I am not actually sure that is actually true. My wife and I run a moderately successful travel blog and know quite a number of other travel bloggers, some of whom do it for a living.

They are all technically on Twitter for example however the overwhelming majority have hooked up a service that automatically logs in as them then publishes tweets on their behalf freeing them up to never ever actually log in themselves.

If you look at active user numbers, tweets published etc it presumably all looks great but how many real actual humans are there? I suspect the answer is not nearly as many humans as Twitter would like to publicly admin as so many have been replaced by bots.

It feels like they could radically improve the experience by locking out the bots but doing that would make it obvious how few actual humans are present.


Insightful observation. The quality of the network is eroded by non-human automation.


At least the e-mail software I know has very different UX:

* it is terrible with comfortably looking at a stream of images,

* for one-to-many you have to keep mailing lists around,

* filtering such streams out (to separate notifications) needs to be set up,

* ...

You could do all that with e-mail, and some people probably are more comfortable with using e-mail for such purposes, but you don't get the same streamlined UX with e-mail. Somebody could write an app that offered most of it, but sadly nobody has as far as I know.


early 20 something here.

My friends and I went "offline" and we are much closer and happier. Social media is overrated. I think we will look back at this time in the future like how we look back at cigarette smoking in the 50s. It has its place but its usefulness is limited. I don't question Snapchat's business potential, though.

edit: also I find it funny (and pathetic) how industry analyst struggle to understand social media and what is the next big social media. They just don't get it.


I'm in the same boat. I was chatting to some Chinese business people yesterday. What we call social media, they call "self media". I think that is a better description of how most of us use social networks, i.e. to broadcast ourselves. But there is still underlying value in the connectness which social networks enable. For example my local community is using Facebook to bring everyone together to oppose a gravel development next to our local school. It's a great way of keeping everyone informed, quickly, and at no cost. Some people are really creative too, such as uploading videos of the proposed site using drones to show what we would lose. So I think to be useful, "self media" has to truly evolve into "social" media.


I couldn't agree more with the points you raised. Social media services have their place and they can be a valuable tool.

By the way, I'd never heard of the term "self media" but I think it is perfect. I'm going to start using it now.


Please forgive me for generalizing, but from what stereotypes of Chinese culture that I've heard, I've been given the impression that the Chinese tend to be conservative with regards to outwardly expressing themselves. Given that this may be the case, is it not unsurprising that they would see a platform that is about visual expression and that focuses upon the creator of content, as being possibly too self-oriented?

If this is the case, such a perception may act as a barrier to their ability to perceive that it is a platform that can be used for the creation and strengthening of interpersonal bonds (social media).


>> "My friends and I went "offline" and we are much closer and happier."

I'm guessing all your friends live nearby? If not, how do you keep in touch with them 'offline'?


With friends who live close by, we don't interact online. Instead we schedule dinner or make plans for weekends.

With friends who don't live nearby, I don't talk to them as often. I still have my FB account but I don't follow anyone on FB, so my News Feed is empty. I keep it alive for FB messenger, which I use to chat with some friends occasionally. Or if I'm traveling nearby, I'll let them know and schedule something. I used the word "offline" in a sense that I don't subscribe to people and I don't broadcast my activities.


> Posting more than once or twice a day to Instagram/Facebook seems excessive

I've been using Facebook all wrong ...

How did you solve the problem of "Nothing interesting ever happens on Snapchat"? Maybe I have bad friends, but my feed is like a vast emptiness of nothing happening. Except for the 2 or 3 people who have decided that Snapchat is their new marketing channel. They post a lot and they post a lot of the same stuff over and over so I rarely watch.

Basically, my problem is that I can smell Snapchat is great. But it soooo rarely gives me a reason to come back that I miss most of the things.

Almost feels like I'd have to religiously "clean out my inbox" once a day. But it isn't interesting enough for that.

What am I doing wrong?

PS: I'm in my late 20's and I've had Snapchat installed ever since it launched but ... ugh. It just doesn't click.


On Snapchat, your 'feed' contains only thumbnails, you have to consciously decide to consume it (per each user, although they recently changed this to an autoplay-all-others-after-first-click which somewhat undermines my point), so they pique your curiosity and tease you into consuming it.

On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. your feed is the sum of all content, so it's immediately apparent if it's empty or underwhelming.


The part of Snapchat that is social is entirely dependent on having active friends on it. Part of what got me into the app daily was the branded stories. They are exactly the right length for me to get a short update on things that happened the day before or learn something new during my commutes. I find myself looking forward to when I have new ones to read.


Also a thirty something. I've been using snapchat for a while now. I don't get all the talk of "getting it" or "figuring it out". What is so hard about the app? It has always made sense to me. Even before the stories.


I get the appeal to an extent, but the interface is so bad I don't use it much. As an almost 40 something with an increasingly poor memory, I often lose track of the "conversation" because previous messages in the (non)thread have disappeared.


> there is no better way to keep up with friends and family digitally than via Snapchat Stories

Disclaimer: I'm one of those who don't "get" snapchat, so I'd like to get this explained by somebody who does. Do you use snapchat to just have fun with friends and family from time to time, and some other way to keep up with the important things in their lives - like talking in person, phone, facebook, whatever?

Because I really don't understand how can you do the latter with such an ephemeral service...


>You can post pretty shamelessly the little things you're up to all day to your story, knowing it will be gone in 24 hours, keeping your feed really clean.

Snapchat is ephemeral and more private, like the spoken word, and unlike pretty much all other social media that I know of. It is an interesting concept, people feel more open to share certain things when they know it will fade away soon after rather than be on historical record .


Yea, I noticed the same thing. At first, it seems weird and a little confusing, but rapidly becomes very intuitive, as it's actually designed for vertical mode. It didn't really click with me until my sister and her friends finished college and started hanging out around me more often, but it's become arguably my favorite social app


Why are we content to let the pictures and videos we create disappear though?


Because you'd get overwhelmed if you saved every little moment of your day?

Sometimes those moments are worth sharing with people because it brings you closer or continues a conversation. However, like with a conversation you don't need to remember the exact words sometime later for that conversation to have been worthwhile.


Because it's not about creating anything, it's just like conversation. You don't remember 99% of the conversations you've had in life either, and you're content not recording them.


That's the part I don't like about it. The president's car passes at a rally, do I take phone video or snapchat it or just enjoy the moment?


A lot of people i know default, including me, to using snapchat as their main camera in most situations. You can download whatever you take a picture of through the app and choose not to post it at all. It has all the features i need from the camera plus some basic photo editing. Also the reverse isn't true: I cant take a picture through the normal camera then choose to post it to snapchat. this both locks you into using the Snapchat camera and ensures that most pics you see on snapchat are taken in the moment, which is very important to the app. btw I'm 23


you can save them


I don't like how you have to click and watch each person's thing individually. Twitter just puts everything in one timeline. Twitter also features text more heavily which I prefer.


with the new update, the next story is automatically played, so it's more like a feed


As a close to 30 something, I've never been able to get Snapchat and I've relegated it to my digital dustbin

Maybe this comment will spur me to give it a shot


I couldnt justify view much battery that thing ate to keep our on my phone.


Kind of like WhatsApp except for the auto clearance.


> You can post pretty shamelessly the little things you're up to all day to your story, knowing it will be gone in 24 hours, keeping your feed really clean.

This is sad. The whole thought; the whole idea that I can't read things back; to post apparently meaningless "stories" into the void.

We have/had blogs for this, with the exceptions that those are not ephemeral. To read back you own stories, your own mistakes are invaluable lessons and not having the option to do this, because you depend on a service provider, where you have no control saddens me deeply.

Get a WordPress and make posts disappear automatically after X hours - this is ~5 mins to set up and this way you can both keep and retrieve your stories from the public.

Once this is done post to Snapchat from that blog; via webhooks, bots, whatever. Yes, right now, this is tedious and requires technical knowledge, but the goal is to own your data. But do not store the only copy your original content somewhere where you have no control at all. (See http://indiewebcamp.com/POSSE for the whole idea)


Sad? I think Snapchat manages to be successful because the messages are not meaningless just because they are later removed, but because they are as meaningful and easily relatable as normal conversations. If you aren't around to hear the latest gossip (Snapchat story), you will miss out. But it doesn't matter, because it's not about life or death. Not something even intended to be saved, catalogued, scrutinized. And for direct messages, they will go away as soon as they are read or seen. Just like in real life. They don't stick around, hovering around for retrieval months later. I think this reduces the cognitive load and makes it easier for people to share what they would be able to share in real life.


> If you aren't around to hear the latest gossip (Snapchat story), you will miss out.

Who said gossips? "Stories" have and utterly different meaning to me.

Journals stick around. Letters stick around. Notes stick around. They are important. We evolved to write, not just talk, and reading back who you have been 10 years ago, even if it's just a plain entry, can be surprisingly useful to maintain a healthy soul, especially in times when you think things are slipping away.

Take away the option to remember, what are you left with?

And no, I'm not exaggerating. No one scrolls back any more; yesterday deliberately out of interest, and I disagree with this from the bottom of my heart.


Knowing that what you say will be private(ish) and not be kept on historical record (at least not in public -- I assume Snapchat saves everything) can lead one to be more open, honest, and up-front in their communication.

Whereas writing something which will be kept on the public historical record for all to see forever leads to both conscious and subconscious self-censorship and can be misleading when trying to "read back who you have been 10 years ago" because what you wrote may not have been what you were really thinking.

The ephemeral nature of the spoken word and the historical nature of the written word both have their advantages and disadvantages.


Do you honestly believe snapchat actually deletes content? Please.


Please reread the first sentence.


It's amazing how misguided this article is.

Twitter is a publishing platform. You go there for (links to) news, blog posts, commentary on particular subjects (some of them very niche), notifications of events or live reporting of something happening in public.

Why does every form of communication have to fit the mold of "keeping in touch with friends and family" and match the user numbers that these services inherently deliver?

I'm so fed up with the dominance of "keeping up with friends and family". I have better things to do than to "keep up" with pointless brain farts and daily routines of people I know.

And why is everything measured by what kids or teenagers do? So much so that people on here pride themselves of "getting" snapchat in spite of their advanced age (>30) as if that was difficult or any sort of achievement.

The salient feature of teenagers is that most of them haven't yet found anything that they are deeply interested in. Most of them don't have very complicated social relationships yet as they don't have a past with anyone. They are not held accountable for anything, and they don't have to make well informed or consequential decisions yet.

In other words, their demand for information and communication is hard to predict but can often be met by something totally inadequate for others. So it's not about "getting it", it's about finding it unfit for purpose.

There's a pattern in the demise of Google Reader and Twitter's current problems. It seems to be difficult for internet behemoths to justify investment into the significant but limited niche of people with advanced information needs.

I wish Twitter had the courage to try to increase usage, utility and depth instead of growing user numbers. And no, it's not an inherent problem with capitalism. There are many successful, publicly traded companies that do something useful, make a profit, and don't grow much.


My 77 year old father forced himself to learn Twitter. Why? Financial news. My journalist friends live on Twitter. Why? Breaking political news. People I follow in national security circles... on twitter. After a certain number (age or users) its not about quantity but quality.


Are you sure about the quality?

I watched Twitter after EgyptAir flight 804 was lost. And I was amazed by the amount of shit I got to see. Everybody was placing assumptions, unknown 'facts', stupidity and so on.

Sometimes I saw a relevant post but then it got reposted a trillion.

Maybe some streams are of good quality. But my breaking news experience was not of high quality I must say.


>its not about quantity but quality.

This sounds weird to me, because Twitter seems the epitome of quantity over quality.

Even with my carefully selected RSS feeds I feel overwhelmed by all the news I get in a day. I can't imagine following news on Twitter where people think it's perfectly OK to post a new tweet every 10 minutes.


My carefully curated list of followees has a stringent eviction rule on overposters.

Unfortunately, in an effort to satisfy undisciplined people that routinely follow people in the order of thousands, each one of Twitter's tentative change to incrementally bring a mimicry of automated smartness to everyone's timeline has terminally ruined it for me as my feed turned into a non-deduplicated, unordered mess appended with nonsensical suggestions (and ads).


I've found Twitter has become my primary news source over the past couplefew years.


Right after Google shut down Reader for me. Twitter remains the best source of news + programming + local + academic content for me. Although on the whole I'm a little burned out on 'content' in general.


All I can say is, follow reporters who handle topics you're interested in and it's like having your own personal news site. A messier, but more direct advance beyond RSS (which I also still use religously).


Have you tried inoreader? I use it pretty much just like I used Google Reader.


Twitter was amazing useful after the big earthquake/nuclear issues in 2011 (I live in Japan).


That and LINE


For me it was mainly twitter for news. Facebook was useful immediately after the quake to let family back home know that I was OK while the phone lines were still jammed. I also used it as a way to relay news in English to Facebook friends in Japan who can't read Japanese.


Twitter = realtime news/sports, one-to-many jokes/announcements or whatever

Snapchat = catch up on friends & families days, one-to-one connection

It's OK that they each have their purpose, and I wish both services's stated goals would embrace that. And maybe I use those services different than other people, but I just think it's strange that two wildly different services are competing for the same eyeballs in the same verticals. Obviously the shareholders disagree with me.


At some level _every_ service is competing with every other for users' time. But at some point, such comparisons become meaningless.


Snapchat has undoubtedly grown; it's really impressive. But much of Twitter's content you can consume without being logged-in. Is that accounted for at all?


Twitter reports Monthly Active Users as 310M [1] which, as far as I can tell[2], represents just logged-in users. I presume that Bloomberg would use the standard-ish term of "active users" to mean the same thing.

Twitter also reports it has 1B monthly uniques "to sites with embedded Tweets"[1].

[1] - https://about.twitter.com/company

[2] - http://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-...


Hmm. That's an interesting thought about how to skew 'engagement' stats. Maybe that's why I can't view Pinterest pages without that irritating "you must log in" sheet scrolling over the content.


You can actually delete that and keep scrolling


I really respect the Snapchat service, but the thing is that I don't like to create things that will disappear. If I want a thing to disappear I simply don't create it. I believe I am an exception, I see a lot of people that loves Snapchat because it erases things after a while. May I still don't have the problem Snapchat was created to solve.


> If I want a thing to disappear I simply don't create it.

The point is that it mimics a natural conversation. Do you refuse to speak just because no one is recording you?


As someone who can relate to the parent post, I will admit that if no one is actively listening to me then I absolutely will not speak. But I'm on the quieter side of personalities and don't enjoy talking for the hell of it.


But there is someone listening on snapchat - the person on the other side still sees and hears it.

The conversation analogy that xux made seems perfectly reasonable to me in that regard. However, it is (depending on the user, I suppose) not super "real-time" the way conversations are.


That's now what that person meant. The way I look at it, Snapchat is like conversations—you don't remember most of them. Does that mean you never talk unless you have some way of knowing you will remember them forever? That's basically what Snapchat is for (unless it is important, then you screenshot!).

With Snapchat you aren't "creating" anything, just having casual conversations.


But your friends still see your snaps and remember them. The database just forgets them very easily.


I will admit to being one of the Snapchat non-getters, despite having tried to use it for over a month. (Maybe I don't have enough friends that actively use it?)

I will also admit that I was of the same opinion as GP comment. However, this analogy of yours just blew my mind -- I've never thought of it that way!


I signed up for Snapchat and didn't use it for an entire year. It just didn't make sense. The whole thing seemed pointless to me. Then it clicked. I'm not sure what it was, but once you have friends using Snapchat, it definitely becomes more enjoyable. If you don't know anyone with a Snapchat, Try following some celebrities first.


Same here, it's like a chat but with media: SNAPCHAT hehehe

People usually don't save chat log, or rewind it. Snapchat is the same, the proper name.

I was got me wondering why this company is success, what human need it solves, now things is getting a little more clear.


If people don't pay attention, they will forget, so I prefer to do not talk.

I got what you mean, and now I comprehend a little better what human need Snapchat is solving, thank you.


May I was seeing Snapchat as anything but not like a chat. This was why I didn't get it.

It's like a conversation, and it's pointless to use when no one is listening you.


Damn, that's a good point.

I'll use this as my retort to anyone who says they don't want their content to disappear


And then they reveal they are in fact recording every moment of their lives with at least audio if not video too. Ideally also measuring the air to replicate smells later if desired.

If such was cheap and easy, I'd do it 24/7. I hate that my brain's storage is so volatile, and I wish I remembered dead people better. But yeah GP is still a good point, my desire is a separate issue from not wanting one's efforts to 'go to waste' by not being preserved. An honest introspection will reveal just how much is 'wasted' all the time from that point of view, it's far more than just ephemeral updates or unrecorded and unremembered speech.



"Jealous people will always find ways to destroy their relationships without the recourse to memory databanks."


I've come to recently replace Twitter with Snapchat, having replaced Facebook Timeline with Twitter.

The process is definitely cyclical, but there is at least one new emphasis that's changed:

Content is treated as low-value, which makes it low-pressure. Mainly because:

1. it has a short life span (it expires in 24 hours)

2. the lack of per-item ratings (e.g. likes or favourites)

3. it is always packaged non-individually (i.e. as a bundled "Story")

4. pictures are not dressed up (ie not "Instagram photos") and videos are short

5. simple UI promotes content creation as central and valued over content judging/consumption

Add to that it offers the best visual blogging UI (and specifically vlogging).

Whereas with Facebook and Twitter every new post would bring thoughts like "is this good enough? Will I regret this post down the line? Will people like it?", Snapchat promotes the "just do it" attitude. Is this interesting right now?

I expect my personal use of Snapchat will wane as it did with the other platforms. When something becomes too big it becomes too public, and brings too much pressure to be idyllic. Right now Snapchat feels closed and personal.


People here only think about how they use Twitter and Snapchat. My first thought would be: Snapchat has more girls with less clothes. It is not the content we are looking for, but that's what draws a lot of young guys and girls there. Twitter offers content. That is nice, but not so interesting to the amount of people that would be willing to use new apps.

That you can show your daily life to your friends and family is also nice, certainly may be the tip to lead to higher traffic than twitter, but it's probably not the majority usecase.


I think Snapchat is too "dangerous" for me. Too much gamification, fueling FOMO etc.

This story was fairly scary (imo): https://www.buzzfeed.com/benrosen/how-to-snapchat-like-the-t...


I downloaded snapchat a few years ago. Didn't know enough people on it and uninstalled after a month or two.

About a year ago I reinstalled as a way to share a trip I was on. It was perfect for that.

You'll post one perfect, curated photo to insta of your day, but you'll snap the random guy in the street, a funny sign in another language or just some bullshit you're up to.

Instagram feels a bit past its prime these days. I follow more commercial accounts on insta than I do on snapchat.

Snapchat it's like 40 close friends and fam. People who have my phone number.

Plus if you want to meet girls (sub 30 I should add) snap is the easiest way to connect lately.


The worst thing about snapchat when traveling however, is battery life.

That app literally sucks the juice out of your phone in 10 minutes.

Too much gps trying to load all their filters or something I don't know. I have to turn off cellular data when roaming or my phone will dead 20 minutes after I left the house.


I always have GPS disabled, unless its more to do with where i live, GPS features of snapchat aren't worth using.

The infuriating thing i notice though is that since the android update was released where you no longer hold to view a picture or video, your phone will never go to sleep if snapchat is in the foreground.


> About a year ago I reinstalled as a way to share a trip I was on. It was perfect for that.

Why not taking notes and pull it together in a blog post? Journals are useful for everyone, especially if it's about remote locations and insider tips.


This metric is not quite accurate, but Google Trends [1] gives a decent overview of how Twitter has been on the decline for the past 3 years.

Instagram has surpassed them in search traffic. Snapchat is more than a year away, but given how young they are is quite impressive.

[1] https://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=snapchat#q=snapchat%...


Am I the only person who finds a huge amount of my Instagram (60%+) clicks and likes is really automated spam bots? I really feel like the service is particularly prone to it...not that Twitter and BookFace aren't also...


It's really bad. For me it's well over 60%. I've started "sharing" those bots with @instagram with sarcastic comments.


How exactly do you know it's not accurate? If you're saying that because of Google trends, keep in mind that Twitter is a website, Snapchat is not. Lots of people still google "Twitter" to get to the homepage. Pretty much no one would be googling snapchat...


EDIT: March and April saw over 9,000,000 searches.

On average, 5,000,000 people google 'snapchat' every single month.

Source: Google Keyword Planner


But that's exactly the point. Search volume isn't the same thing as usage.


How does Instagram surpass Twitter in Search traffic - what can you even search on Instagram? I thought it is mostly pictures. Or are people just searching for porn on Instagram?


Both of these are incorrect.

You can search for hashtags, users, and locations on Instagram, both on mobile and desktop now.

If clicking to browse a hashtag is considered "searching", I could see this.

Instagram also aggressively bans nudity and other reported terms violations.

(I believe OP was referring to Google search traffic to either platform though.)


I would guess most searches for both platforms are of the (person) (Twitter/Instagram) format.


Another 30something here:

Just spent the past month forcing myself to understand Snapchat and I finally get it now. Took a bit, especially since the whole experience is heavily gamified. I swear the developers are huge video game junkies!

The big takeaway is that Snapchat is just much more personal and real than the text based social networks.

For those interested in trying it out I recommend.

Mark Suster => https://www.snapchat.com/add/msuster (Venture Capitalist, tech/leadership 'Snapstorms')

Justin Kan => https://www.snapchat.com/add/justinkan (creator Justin TV, now Twitch, very open in business/tech)

Here is my snapchat as well https://www.snapchat.com/add/mrelijahlynn

edit: This article got me to try Snapchat, I was a big fan of Justin TV and streamed a ton of content, including live broadcasts from the Ron Paul Blimp. http://justinkan.com/why-i-love-snapchat

Also, this article can get you up to speed on the very different UX => https://bothsidesofthetable.com/snapchat-101-for-vcs-and-old...


I'm not a Snapchat user, but my girlfriend is. I watch her use Timehop and she laughs at old tweets she made... when she actually used Twitter. She then goes to Snapchat and watches other people's stories for the next hour while I catch up on news (HN, industry news, etc). I understand why Snapchat is popular, but I don't understand people who use it (sorry bae).


2 minutes of snapchat = 3% battery life on Android (Nexus 5) - I like the app and the idea but it kills my poor baby!


I suppose that is because it keeps the camera running even if you are at the stories or PM panel.


The moment Snapchat clicked for me was when I was using the current events features and it was stitching together different short video clips from the campaign trail. These were raw, candid, and extremely fresh videos showing the candidates with their guard down. I felt like I was spying. It clicked again for me last week when a friend was casually flipping through her contacts "stories". The little glimpses of peoples lives was so intimate and meaningless at the same time. They're really onto something here.


Does anyone else wish there were an option to not auto play the next story (of User B) when you're watching the story of User A?


It doesn't surprise me that more people prefer personal conversations than the news. What surprises me is that Snapchat was able to figure this out in their own wacky way.

Kudos to them, but this certainly doesn't diminish the importance of Twitter. People that complain about Twitter so far haven't created a better solution.


By 'wacky way', I assume you mean disappearing convo's centered around photos.

If so, I find it absolutely fascinating that Evan Spiegel was able to think of photos as a conversational medium in this manner, and more than just sexting.


Honestly thought this happened a while ago.


I was actaully thinking WhatsApp would outspace Snapchat since Facebook has been investing in them. Interesting to see that Snapchat gained that much more users


My thoughts exactly.


Social media networks are like night clubs.

Myspace was edgy and underground, then it got invaded by the masses and it was no longer trendy, so everyone went to Facebook.

Facebook was good for a while but now your parents and family are in every conversation. How much fun can you have in a nightclub with your parents watching everything you do?

Twitter is more like a massive dance hall filled with people shouting at each other. If you stand close to your selected friends it can be fun, and if you get access to the mic on the main stage it can be awesome, but the usual experience is that it's filled with randos.

Snapchat is like.. I don't know. I lost interest in nightclubs before I could get into Snapchat.


Weird metaphor. 1 Billion people on Facebook daily. Most of twitter's interactions are read only. So according to this idea Facebook is a nightclub the size of china and twitter is one of those weird sex clubs where you watch people behind one way mirrors.


> Facebook was good for a while but now your parents and family are in every conversation. How much fun can you have in a nightclub with your parents watching everything you do?

The reports about Facebook's decline are greatly exaggerated imho. I don't use it myself but every time I side glance at someone's phone the FB app seems to be in the foreground. It seems that it's no longer cool to admit using it very often but I think most people do, regardless of what they say to one another.


Meanwhile, we all still have email, phones, snail mail and texting.


I hardly use email outside of work (what is it for, other than receiving newsletters I've lost interest in?), my phone is just for the internet, snail mail is literally just for spam and government communications, and texting has been replaced with Facebook Messenger/WhatsApp/Snapchat/literally anything.


XMPP died though, and Matrix hasn't yet replaced it as it should, which is a problem.


XMPP died? There must be a bug in my Pidgin then, it claims to still be connected to my XMPP server. /s


And blogs.


This begs for a description of HN as a nightclub.


Must be prepared for rust...y dance moves


Let's not golang there.


Many things are ephemeral, so what?

Motorola was the most popular phone, then Nokia, Blackberry, iPhone and now Android.

In the social media game, it is important for businesses to understand the movements of popularity.


Android is an OS, not a phone.


> iPhone and now Android

Huh?


Android has approximately 85% of worldwide market. I think his statement is justified.


While Android is a smartphone OS, it is questionable whether android devices are being used as smartphones by majority of the users who have android devices.


Most of those phones are at the extreme low end and aren't used as smartphones the way iPhones are


And yet the Play Store generates way less money than the App Store. It's ridiculous how lopsided the difference is actually. I mean, does that 15% really have more spendable money than the other 85%? Something else has to account for these results.


Android is more popular in emerging markets. In most of these markets cash or mobile money payments are common. Most banks locally charge a monthly fee to have your card enabled to do online payments which is a pain in itself. Oflate things have started to change as most retail giants have started offering branded prepaid cards for both online payments and loyalty points.


I'm excited to see when snapchat figures out a way to replicate the 'DJ Khaled' effect. I want to discover interesting people doing cool stuff and right now i'm not sure how i'd go about doing this on snapchat whereas Twitter won't stop recommending people to me.


I think it's by design. They're already doing well without the discovery and the lack of discovery is probably one of the key reasons why people like it. Snapchat is more about keeping in touch with people they really care about than some DJ Khaled. In fact a lot of people who first started following DJ Khaled just to see what the hype is all about don't really care anymore, and probably increasingly so as more people start using Snapchat.


Yea, this is something they really need to work on. It's pretty difficult to discover a public Snapchatter you'd want to follow


It also took me a while to 'get' it. I sort of think I do now and wrote down what makes Snapchat different: http://piks.nl/wordpress/snapchat/


The thing about Snapchat is that it has no web footprint. It's impossible to judge how big it actually is. They can report whatever numbers they want. Remember how Google+ claimed to have more active users than Twitter? Yeah.


Snapchat on Android killed my Nexus 5. Phone got exceedingly hot, even when not in use. By next day display also stopped working. Do I dare try again on Nexus 6P?


Can someone tell me how do I get out of stories in Snapchat?


I feel like I've been using it wrong after reading these comments. It's always been one huge attempt to make my friends laugh. We'll take embarrassing/stupid photos with the goofy filters and face swaps for a cheap laugh, knowing it'll be gone in 15 seconds or whatever. I'm not really using it to keep up on their lives or anything like that. and I'm not sure they are either.


Nothing wrong with that.


If only they wouldn't be such *sses about Windows Phone maybe I would be able to keep up with my friends this way ...


No desktop/web app either?


Social Media are like TV Shows, and Facebook is like the HBO of Social Media.

One day something else will come up and capture "young people's" attention and Snapchat will have a slow, painful MySpace-esque death.

This is the price you pay when you don't have anything real to offer to the world, and instead trade on shear popularity alone.


I believe this is true to a degree. But I believe what differentiates this comparison of the shift from Myspace to Facebook, is that Snapchat embraces the concept of ephemeral sharing. Ephemeral sharing I believe will be a huge part of the future of social media as the younger generation becomes more aware of the effects of the permanence of the internet.


late 20something here. Is it possible for me to "get" snapchat if none of my friends are using it? If so, how?


You need to have friends on it to really "get" it, but you can add celebrities, people in your address book, or get snapchat usernames from profiles on tinder/instagram/...


All due respect to SnapChat, I'm glad people use it and enjoy. As for me, I had it before, it wasn't really my thing. I never had instagram either, so maybe there is some relation there.

edit: spelling


I guess I'm on a similar camp.

For some reason the idea that I would be posting my day to day seems to me very "un-private" for a person like me that doesn't want to voluntarily broadcast my every waking second.

I use Facebook and I post from time to time, but mostly re-shares of other interesting stuff and very very seldom something about myself. I even try to stay untagged as much as I can because I find very creepy the amount of info one can get for the purposes of fraud calls, kidnapping (I live in a country where this is a very real threat) or other malicious acts.

In the end I'm aware that there's a limit on what I can do without going "more dark" (i.e. only Tor browsing via VPN from internet connections not in my house, using Qubes on a laptop bought over the counter, with cash, etc etc), but I hope that by using things like PasswordSafe with a YubiKey 2FA for my passwords (32+ random chars) and having the usual, uBlock HTTPSEverytwhere, DoNotTrack, PrivacyBadger, etc I can at least lower the attack surface.

Like they say "I don't have to run faster than the lion, I only need to run faster than you".

I just hope that all this really does make a difference, even if tiny, at least against your regular online-savvy asshole/criminal (I know that I'm really a sitting duck against a state actor)... otherwise it's just one big mental masturbation scheme.. :(


Anyone else get an ad blocker message when you're not using one?


I got an ad blocker, but no ad blocking message on that page...


Your browser's built-in tracking protection maybe?


No surprises here. Snapchat captures the use a common person wants. Twitter's really just good for tracking celebrities.


Ive found Twitter goes beyond celebrities. It's great for live events like conferences or debates or whatever, even ones that are too small for major media coverage. When something is happening, you get live journos and bloggers live tweeting the breaking news, and the surrounding discussion is good too.


I track approximately zero celebs. I do track a lot of people in CS/Math fields. Kindof a live bookmark feed.


The point still stands, there are two kinds of Twitter users: 'VIPs' who attract followers, and 'consumers' who follow them.


> Twitter's really just good for tracking celebrities.

What? Twitter has become the dominant platform for breaking news. It's also got a decent number of niche communities (I'm pretty active in NBA Twitter, for example).


I use Twitter to connect, meet, and talk to other devs. Maybe it's similar to "tracking celebrities" but it's been a boon to my career and learning (with moderate use, of course).


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