Snapchat’s “self destructing” photos and videos skyrocketed the application into popularity among millennials. Four years later, Snapchat is implementing social movements and newsworthy information through international stories. This innovation made way for societal changes and community strengthening.
Steve Fidel, director of the BYU campus newspaper, asked Brigham Young University students, “How do you get the news?” Immediately, the response erupted, “Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter!” News sources are changing from newspaper, televised news, and radio broadcasts to the social media fields. These social media sources gained the opportunity to promote change or to continue doing what they have in the past. Snapchat has begun to use its “Story” feature to promote social movements. Through these actions, the millennial generation is being exposed to the news and important events.
Snapchat has made an effort to be included at LGBT events around the world. To celebrate National LGBT History month, Snapchat had a series of live stories in San Francisco, London, and New York City. Each place expressed a different story about how they were fighting for LGBT rights in that area. During major Supreme Court decisions regarding LGBT rights, Snapchat live was waiting just outside the Supreme Court building. It has recorded the history, information, and opinions of public leaders for viewers to learn from. Brandon Hansen, a BYU student, said, “Through Snapchat live, I have been able to see how groups across the nation have reacted to LGBT changes. I have been exposed to new viewpoints that are different from my own.”
Another social campaign that was promoted through Snapchat Live was to promote awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. The campaign was based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the hashtag, #MemoriesMatter. According to Ipsos MENA, a Middle Eastern research service, many smartphone users take advantage of Snapchat in the UAE. Due to this factor, they decided to base the location for the campaign here. Starcom Media shared that the purpose of the story was to educate young people in the UAE about the disease. Starcom shared, “Snapchat, making the most of the fact that messages on the social media platform disappear in a few seconds after they have been seen by recipients. The reality is that Snapchat works just like Alzheimer’s.” The final message of the feed read, “Alzheimer’s Erases Your Memories, Let’s Erase Alzheimer’s.” Around the world, the campaign informed individuals about a disease that few young people knew about.
Across the country, the #BlackLivesMatter protests have occurred. In Downtown Dallas, the protests took a twist as five police officers were left dead and several others wounded, according to NBC News. Snapchat was featuring a news story on the event. During the shooting, live footage was played on Snapchat as gunmen opened fire. According to Forbes, a graphic content warning preceded the event. The story displayed exactly what was occurring in live time. After the shootings of police officers in Dallas, breaking news took a brand new meaning. Individuals were aware of what was occurring without having to depend on a traditional news outlet. Sarah Hansen, a BYU student, said, “This event was revolutionary in media. Instead of having just breaking news, live news was available and students saw exactly what was happening live.” Snapchat is changing the way that the world sees live news.
MediaKix reports that throughout the world, Snapchat Live clips are viewed millions of times every day. With these campaigns and social movements, individuals around the world are able to become educated through various perspectives on a matter. Since so many opinions and features are shown, it is easier to now see viewpoints without total media bias. Snapchat is defining the upcoming news industry through the social media promotion of current events. Each day, a new story is created and shared with unity as a goal.
Victoria Anne Vincent is studying Business Management and Communications at Brigham Young University. She enjoys playing sports, learning about different cultures, and experiencing new places around the world.