a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by Saouka
Saouka  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Understanding Snapchat: A Journey That Left Me Feeling Out of Touch

One of the main reasons Facebook 'won' was because it managed to beat MSN.

MySpace had a chat feature. Bebo had a chat feature. But MSN still reigned supreme as the way to talk to people online. MySpace and Bebo had bulky inboxes like an email client and MSN was quick and fun. MSN is still slightly better for the user than Facebook ever was; it did webcam chat without issue much earlier, you could appear offline to 'friends', you could add people you barely knew and satisfactorily block them forever.

So then Facebook comes onto the scene and has integrated chat. You've added all your friends, like on Myspace and Bebo, and suddenly you don't _need_ MSN up to talk to them. You still do for the few friends you have that don't have Facebook, but slowly it becomes easier to just open Facebook and open MSN when you want to talk to those friends. Eventually MSN just remains closed. And as it was suffering from the iTunes style of updating anyway, that wasn't the worst of things. Even if it was slightly better, the extra effort isn't worth it.

Facebook damn well knows this. They've got you talking on their website, now they've got you on their apps. They are an important part of life because they've also beaten texting in how we communicate.

So Snapchat comes along, and Facebook don't like it. There's another way to communicate, and this one is even more low effort than before. It's seamless, it's easy to do and to understand. They know that one of the reasons they're so dominant is that the price to communicate is being on Facebook.

So why is Snapchat so dominant, aside from ease of use and tumblr-esque simplicity in communication? You're right that it captures attention and demands you look at every pixel for those 3-10 seconds. You've probably also heard that it's used for porn, but it's a method of communication so that's a given.

Taking a DP on Facebook, for me, may take up to 2 hours. I'm not actually kidding. I'm not an expert photographer, and I'm damn well not that ugly or attractive to merit it, but I like taking pictures of myself for Facebook that make me look okay. I feel compared to everyone else I know and people I don't know. Snapchat, if you trust it, takes your photo and then removes it forever. Okay fine it's not foolproof, but the idea is that you send it to your friends and assume they probably aren't horrible people. People share things with someone because they can, and in this system they can't. You get a sense of impermanence that means you don't worry as much.

If I upload a random photo of my day on Facebook, maybe 1-3 of my friends will give a shit, so I wouldn't put it on FB, but I also can't be bothered uploading it to send to them in a message. So Facebook photos are now where you put the highlights of yourself to show off. Snapchat is where you can fuck around with friends.





_refugee_  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just curious, are you British? I took a quick perusal at your profile and your word choice indicates this might be such, but I wanted to ask.

The reason is because I'm American and MSN was never popular here, not in the way you describe. I had some British and Irish friends at some point and they all had MSN email addresses and I guess used the other functions you describe. I had no idea that you could use MSN in that way, in fact. For chatting online, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was always the thing back "in my day" i.e., the early '00s.

What is a DP? Otherwise I agree with your assessment about Snapchat and the deletion of photos. Snapchat allows you to be ugly and it doesn't matter. My friends and I send pictures of ourselves making the fattest/ugliest faces. We send pictures of ourselves when we're on the toilet. It's inappropriate - or it would be if it were permanent - but it's funny. And because Snapchat deletes the images, it's not damaging.

    Facebook photos are now where you put the highlights of yourself to show off. Snapchat is where you can fuck around with friends.

I agree, 100%. And then some.

user-inactivated  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I believe he means decent picture!

And I agree with both of your assessments. It's really fascinating to think about.

Saouka  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

*Display Picture. Close eightbitsamurai, but not quite.

I'm so British. If you'd looked longer you'd notice I talk about the NHS occasionally.

@msn.co.uk was the late adopter email. It started out @hotmail.com and then @hotmail.co.uk for MSN based email addresses afaik. AIM was a thing, but it wasn't that popular in my teenage years. I think MSN was being used around me from about 01 to maybe 09?

Snapchat is really integral just because of that impermanence. I think the world needs more outlets where you're not judged.

humanodon  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you happen to use the word, "moreish"?

Saouka  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mostly when talking about biscuits. It's when something is very easy to keep eating, but isn't actually addictive.

humanodon  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, I know. I was introduced to the word by the most British person I have ever met, referring to cocaine as "rather moreish".

rezzeJ  ·  2375 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a line form Peep show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRS41-7MTSs

humanodon  ·  2375 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I should give that show another chance. The only episode I've seen was the last one of some season or other and I had no idea what was going on.

Saouka  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I assumed other people were unaware. I'm not sure how far the word has spread. One of my favourite English-y words is mardy, which is an adjective for grumpy or bad tempered.

humanodon  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honestly, if I hadn't worked with so many Brits while living abroad, I don't think I would know it. I have never heard mardy, though I have heard the word "manky" (is that the right spelling?). There seem to be quite a few interesting words in colloquial use in England (not to mention the rest of the UK) that I think Americans would enjoy using.

Saouka  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've only ever heard manky said, but that looks right to me! English has some lovely words. We use SO many american-isms though, couch and trash and basically adopted into our language now. (Sofa and rubbish are the proper words, of course)

I always get quite annoyed that Americans don't have kettles. WHAT IF YOU WANT TEA.

humanodon  ·  2376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Heh, some of us do, but generally not the electric kettles. Some people microwave their water for tea (I know, I know).

It is curious that American media infiltrates so many English speaking countries, but very little English language media from outside of the US comes in.

I used to play that up with a friend of mine whenever he would complain about America, by talking about how much I enjoyed Benny Hill.