Recently I've noticed people around me using Snapchat - now - much like they used Twitter in circa 2010. Which has been a really interesting trend to observe. It seems as though there's just far less fear of casual, frequent sharing, because it's all ephemeral anyway.
Meanwhile, Twitter users have all developed a real stigma of "Should I really Tweet this?"
For a while I thought it was just me, but now it seems like an ever increasing number of people have noticed the change in vibe, and are less willing to participate.
As Twitter grew, it changed from a public place where ad-hoc discussions around subjects happened, to a public place which represents your professional identity.
We can't just be ourselves on Twitter any more, mostly because there are lynch mobs around every corner waiting to hold us accountable. But only portraying a "professional subset" of your personality kills off the entire magic of what Twitter used to be.
So now, it all just feels like a lot of shallow chat (for fear of having an actual personality) and self-promotion. Or, as Alex Wood recently put it, "shouting into an empty room".
Snapchat offers something that is becoming a more and more appealing alternative: Share whatever you want, and people will see it for a day. It won't be immortalised into a timeline, or be expected to accurately represent you as an individual for the rest of eternity.
Framed from this perspective, I feel like I finally understand the appeal of Snapchat for the very first time.
One shortcoming, for me, is that Snapchat is so heavily focused on photo/video content. Every post in your Story must have a visual aspect. 90% of what I want to share or talk about is text (or link) based.
In some ways what I really want is Twitter, but with Snapchat's feature of deleting all content after 24 hours. Imagine how free that'd feel to use. It might even better support Twitter's thesis of being purely being about what's going on in the world right now.
[Update:] Yeah, I had to scratch my own itch. I wrote a little Twitter app to do exactly this, which I'm testing on https://twitter.com/johnonolan right now. I'll see how it goes. If it feels like a better way to use Twitter, I may develop it a bit further and open it up for others. Lemme know if that sounds interesting.
In the mean time, though, I'm going to give Snapchat a try. If you're on mobile right now, hit this to add me: https://www.snapchat.com/add/johnonolan
Otherwise, snap this:
Let's see where this thing goes.