It rolled out with immense popularity among young folk for mostly damaging reasons.
It gradually evened things out with a couple of upgrades.
Today it is the hottest topic among the business community and is fast getting hold of older social media users.
It is Snapchat- the fastest growing social network.
Despite the ballooning size of Snapchat’s older generation of users, the app still skews young.
One would only expect it to be boiling with all matters academic.
That has not been. Little debate exists on how Snapchat can be used to promote learning, or general reading for that matter.
The app’s demographic is comprised of some of the youngest people in the history of social media.
83% of its users are under 35 years of age, with the majority of them falling within the 18-24 age group.
A whopping 23% of its US users are between 13 and 17 years old.
That got me wondering, why is this Evan Spiegel’s app attracting so much interest yet no one talks of anything more than sexting when it’s about the teens? Well, it turns out I had been looking at the wrong places.
A few people are linking Snapchat to the classroom.
A key takeaway is that learning requires attention.
And when something else is competing for that attention, learning is affected.
That something else is Snapchat.
Why not double up by incorporating learning right into that very app?
This inkling suffers one major blow though.
As this article observes, “Parents and teachers may not be as familiar with how it works”.
That’s pretty logical given that most parents and teachers are over 35 years old.
These baby boomers are not the savviest of Snapchat users. So, I had an idea..
Use Snapchat for Readers’ Advisory
Teens like to record their time in the library with videos and pictures shared on Snapchat.
They’ll often spend hours in that quiet structure, but only read books for half the time.
You can post content that appeals to these teens and young adults aged between 13 and 20 years old.
That way, chances of better utilising library time goes up twofold.
My novel idea is booktalk.
We all have had that moment of weakness when the silence of the library only sings you a silent lullaby.
For the youngsters, this is a common thing.
The young brain can’t take in a lot of information without breaks.
Booktalking on Snapchat is a way to turn those breaks into a continuation of the reading (and learning) process.
Reading is hard, but watching is a different thing- it’s interesting.
A snippet of the whole story, a short video summarising a book would give me all the reason to read the book.
In your Snapchat booktalk, you won’t be talking about a single book.
You’ll be providing a couple of snippets of different books.
Why Snapchat booktalk is a perfect idea
Few people have the decisiveness to pick what to read.
Going through the blurb of ten different books takes patience.
Professors would enjoy it, but for many readers, it’s a major turnoff.
For teens, this is reason enough to put reading aside and seek something more entertaining.
Booktalks on Snapchat will analyse ten books in ten 10-second videos.
That’s barely a minute and a half and you’ve done what would take an entire library session.
Anyone would love that.
The teens will love your booktalks, kids will like them.
And the young adults, the group that’s already so pressed with time allocation, this group will worship such a service.
It makes their book selection easy and their choices more informed, saves them valuable time and most of all, it gives them a glimpse into the book content before reading it.
The booktalks are an effective way to evoke interest in the teens.
Picture yourself at the receiving end of a stream of videos talking about this Greek mythology storybook featuring this character who is half god and half human.
Somewhere down the reading, some monsters start to hunt him down.
Then in some mysterious way he somewhat manages to overcome the odds.
Wouldn’t you want to sit in the library the next day with that very book? Amazing!!!
One, you wouldn’t have to go through several books and bookshelves looking for a mythological story you can read.
You’ll be having the book title handy, and all you’ve got to do is ask the librarian for it.
And two, you’ll escape the guilt of surfing through a bookshelf meant for middle schoolers when you are clearly a high schooler.
Snapchat has a My Story section where the snaps (videos and photos) you post are accessible to your followers for 24 hours.
A Snapchat story is a stream of Snaps viewed as a long string of videos or photos.
The best part about Snapchat book talks is, you don’t have to bore down the viewers!
Snapchat has features that help you add some needed flair and become very interesting. It has features that let you add text, filters, emoji and drawings.
Your videos could never be more fun to your viewers.
How to get your booktalks noticed
If you are wondering how you’ll earn publicity to this kind of program then you are not alone.
Snapchat has limited discovery methods and it may be no walk in the park to gain followers.
But look, CNN is reporting news on Snapchat, and an extension of The Food Network programming is on the platform.
Taco Bell and McDonald’s are using the app to get Snapchatters absorbed in their products.
The snack company, Modelez, has been promoting its Sour Patch Kids candy brand on Snapchat for years now.
If the app could support these big conglomerates in terms of followers, it’ll just be a matter of time before your small library program is flocking with friends and followers.
Record your videos, share them on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr profiles.
Then use these crossposts to promote your Snapchat by notifying viewers about the videos on the app.
Your work is cut here.
This audience has a thing for Snapchat.
So if you tell them to follow you and start enjoying the viewing, they likely won’t hesitate to hit the follow button on your account.
Even better, cross post the Snapchat profile picture of your library on these networks.
This is an easier way to gain followers. They just need to open the Snapchat app on their devices, hold the phone against the profile picture.
The in-app camera will scan your profile and follow you instantly.
Given its bursting popularity among the largest section of readers, Snapchat provides the most effective means to deliver readers’ advisory services to these clients.
Those who step in the app for readers advisory will stand out from the crowd.
Technology is changing how we do things, and those who accept to embrace it are the ones who’ll survive in this age.