Students are raising their eyebrows at the new Snapchat update released in September, which gave users new features such as the ability to release rainbows from their mouths or dawn a monocle and wrinkled face on the phone’s screen.
The multimedia messaging application has launched various new additions, one called “Lenses,” which gives users new animated selfie effects that can be unlocked by pressing down on the front-facing camera and selecting an option at the bottom of the screen.
The update has been received with mixed emotions, but has not stopped students from sending even sillier faces than before to their friends.
“I think (the update) allows Snapchat to be a little more dynamic,” said Jessica Castellano, junior communication studies and photography double major. “I absolutely love them and I use them way too often.”
Along with new “lenses,” users can now purchase replays —in case one picture or video replay per 24 hours was not enough— and buy three replays for 99 cents, 10 for $2 and 20 for $4.99.
This portion of the update has been met with more negative feedback from some students in comparison to its fellow features.
“I don’t think there is any reason to replay (a message) more than once,” Castellano said.“Take a screen shot, it’s a lot cheaper.”
The final feature in the update is a “Trophy Case,” where users are able to keep track of their major benchmarks and achievements on the application, such as reaching a high score or sending a high amount of messages with the black and white colored filter.
With such high usage by a young demographic, Snapchat is used as a marketing tool by businesses using a variety of geotag filters based on a location or special event.
While snappers use overlays to enhance their snaps, it can also be an subliminal method of advertising for the businesses who sponsor them.
“For me, it’s about providing a unique experience, even when (geotags) take off nationally,” said Dr. Natalie Winter, associate professor and program director of marketing. “(The filters) just create a bond with the brand that definitely isn’t available in traditional media.”
“One of the hard things with any type of new particular social media is that people often rush to participate without thinking about a strategy,” Winter said. “It’s just about presence rather than planning.”
As Snapchat continues to expand what users can do creatively, the amount of time spent by users on the application may increase, as well as the length of users’ daily Snapchat story.