Kat Fletcher, Holly Lloyd, Elisabeth Lutz
The way in which we use the internet and interact with one another has been evolving and rapidly changing over a relatively short period of time. The term “Web 2.0” defines the way in which the internet is used today. Web 2.0 does not mean that the internet has changed in some big way because it has not in the sense that you type in an address to navigate through the internet and you need the proper skills to create a website. Instead, the term “web 2.0” refers to how we, as normal relatively unskilled people, interact with one another and how we use the internet as a communication tool. The term also relates to how companies use our communication tendencies to benefit them for a sake of a profit or brand recognition.
The book defines the consumer- producer relationship that has developed as a fundamental part of Web 2.0 in several main points. “O’Reilly (2005) distinguishes between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 companies on the basis of whether they have ‘embraced the power of the web to harness collective intelligence’ by facilitating user-generated content and capitalizing on users’ products for their own survival and profit.” In addition, “Web 2.0 is not a particular technology or product licensed or for sale, but rather a business model – a ‘way of architecting software and businesses’ (Hinchcliffe, 2006) into companies that seek to prosper on the basis of user-created content.”
This definition of Web 2.0 fits snapchat perfectly. Snapchat in its beginning stages did not have any advertisements whatsoever. It was simply a free app where you sent funny picture to your friends that disappeared after a few seconds. As the popularity of the app grew more and more content was added. With the increase of content and users came the introduction of advertisements into the application. Now users receive short ads for different products aimed at a young demographic. In addition to these ads, big commercial companies such as the Food Network, ESPN, Cosmopolitan, and even Vogue have featured content that users can view. This content changes daily and again is market towards a younger audience. This content is not advertisement, however, it is a way for these major brands to gain recognition and potentially gain a base of clients for when this generation grows up and has the resources and capital to spend on a subscription to the company’s magazine or other products.
In addition to the way companies interact with consumers, the book also defines how the interaction between people on the internet has created the new Web 2.0. The book states, “The user profile is the ‘fundamental commodity of Web 2.0’, according to Beer and Burrows (2007), as users simultaneously produce self-presentations for fellow users and consume profiles of fellow users.” Moreover, “Individuals ‘speak’ in their own spaces, yet are the audience for the works of others and the collective exhibition. Designers become transformed by their actions; meanwhile, people who visit exhibits as ‘audience’ often participate as designers by creating their own works.” In social media apps now, like snapchat, everyone is an audience member and a self- producer. On Snapchat you either take pictures or videos of yourself and share them with an individual, select group of friends, or to all of your followers. This is the self- producing side of the app. You yourself are creating content for others to consume and be an audience member of the “you show.” On the other hand, you become an audience member of your friend’s snaps or stories. This relationship is fundamental to the the term “Web 2.0” and the changes in the ways in which we communicate with one another in the world today.
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send temporary photos and videos as a means of communications with their friends on the app. When Snapchat launched in 2011, it was strictly a photo-sending app. Users could add friends and send them photos. In the past six years, Snapchat has drastically evolved into a multi-feature app that millions of people across the world use daily. Like any other app, Snapchat added updated throughout the years. These updates changed the way users connected with and used the app. Since 2011, Snapchat’s timeline of updates continues to expand. Snapchat started off as a platform for sending pictures. When you send these photos, you acquire a score based off how much you use the app. You get points for sending and receiving snaps. Snapchat showed users who their three best friends were, aka the people they snapped the most. This best friend’s list was visible to the public. Then, Snapchat added a ten second video sending features. The best friend’s list became controversial, so Snapchat got rid of that. Throughout the years, this app has become popular across the globe. Snapchat has continues to update their app for several reasons. First of all, they want to offer their users the best experience possible. Second, the creators of Snapchat want to keep their app interesting and relevant. Adding new features ensures that users won’t get bored and stop using the app. Another reason Snapchat updates is app is because they take the feedback from their users into consideration.
There have been countless updates added to Snapchat since 2011, but we chose to only discuss the ones that were really popular and innovative. The first big update was Snapchat streaks. Streaks show up as a number to the right of your chat with someone. Each day you Snapchat, a number gets added onto the streak and shows how many days in a row you have been snapping someone. This is popular among users because it shows how long they’ve been in contact with someone and motivates them to continue snapping them so the streak doesn’t break. Next, Snapchat added stories in 2013. Posting to your story means that you’re posting a photo or video that will last for up to 24 hours and can be seen by all of your friends. This update was important because it helped users share the moments of their lives with all of their contacts and to express themselves freely. After stories came geotags. Geotags don’t seem crucial, but they help others to share their location. In 2015, Snapchat added the discover feature to their app. Discover is a feature that allows different companies such as Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, People, CNN, ESPN, and many others to share their news in order to reach a larger demographic. Discover is a cool and easy way to access news on the daily.
The early form of snap chat was simple. Now it is completely innovative and continues to come up with ideas to keep people intrigued.
As iphones became more popular and people were seeking for new and cool apps to have on their phone, snap chat knew that they were going to have to continue coming up with new innovative ways to make snapchat fun. With the addition of video sending, and streaks, there are plenty of other things that snapchat started to keep our generation intrigued. “Stories” allow people to post videos and pictures of what they are doing within a 24-hour period, and a person’s snap chat friends can see what cool things their friends do throughout the day. Stories keep people wanting to go on and off the app to see what is going on outside of themselves. Along with these things you can read magazines, or watch news on your phones making it much more convenient to see what is going on in the world, and talk to your friends at the same time. These are the types of things that snapchat needed to add to keep people from getting bored of their app.
When people of our generation get bored of an app, they move on and download new things. To keep snapchat as one of the most popular forms of social media, they needed to be coming up with these new ideas. Viral communication is used through snap chat to market different things on advertisements that come up on your snap chat feed as well. Although advertisements may be frustrating, there are not enough for somebody to not want to use snapchat. Our generation made snapchat popular once the app started off. People love how the pictures that you send to someone can disappear after a few seconds, and it became a really convenient way to see what your friends or acquaintances are doing throughout their day.