Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2:00 p.m.
by Sadie Schwarm.
All you need is trust. As soon as the Best Friends section of Snapchat disappeared, users didn’t know whom from their contacts to trust. This is an interesting step for Snapchat since most of its past updates have been going in a different direction, previously dealing with brands and advertising rather than the pure social aspect for its users. The newest update seems to target its users, keeping its use social as well as for brand advertisement.
Recently, Snapchat brought back this idea of who’s snapping whom, but in a more mysterious way. When Snapchat ditched the Best Friends feature, it enhanced the idea that sending disappearing pictures to people was more secretive and scarier than everyone originally thought. It doesn’t matter; even the most harmless of selfies can cause turmoil between friends or “friends” — if it’s under the radar.
Users were all for the Best Friends ranking until it disappeared and they could no longer see who that guy they were “talking to” was snapping or who was on their girlfriend’s Best Friends list. However, of course this did not stop users from snapping because, just maybe, addiction beats jealousy . . . Snapping these days is more than a one-time act; it can easily be a hobby.
Just when users thought knowing everyone else’s business was a time of the past, Snapchat launched quite the surprise. It brought back a little something to hint at who is snapping whom. This is sketchier than ever before. Snapchat started using emojis to portray who is a user’s best friend, who they are snapping most, etc.
It’s all a code. Like a secret society, you have to be in on it to know what exactly is going on.
This strategy is an interesting move for Snapchat, considering all the previous updates have been focused around brands. For example, the Discover feature and the Snapchat Stories, which have been live-streaming events, have mostly helped brands with advertisement — as well as provide entertainment to the audience. The addition of the emojis is a move that benefits Snapchat users since many complained after the elimination of the earlier Best Friends feature. This update is a move to keep users interested and not have them get lost in the previous updates.
Users now find that certain contacts have emojis next to their name, and they all mean something different. For example, if someone has a smiley face next to their name, it means they are both on each other’s top friends. If someone has a smirk, then it means that you’re his best friend, but he is not yours.
That can make the average Joe a little paranoid depending on the situation. Now, the fact that emojis have that kind of power on relationships and friendships is a whole other issue, but Snapchat was just simply trying to share more information with its users in a fun way — by using emojis.
The best emoji to pop up on the screen is the yellow heart. How sweet . . . love is in the app, just when you thought all hope was lost. The heart means that you are that person’s top friend and they are yours. This is even better if there is a flame next to heart. The flame means that this user is on fire — well, that you have a snapping streak with that user. That can only be a good sign, right? If there is a number displayed next to this flame, then it signifies the number of days that streak has occurred. In this case, you know life is good.
Unfortunately, not everyone can be so lucky. But, without trust there is nothing. Don’t let a smirk emoji mess with your mind; it is just an emoji.
Snapchat, you worked really hard to figure out what your audience wanted, and you may have just nailed it.