The Adult’s Guide to Snapchat

guide to snapchat
By Brooke Ballard, {grow} Contributing Columnist
You’re a marketer. You’re in your mid-thirties (or older), and you’re … using Snapchat?? How? Why? What?!

Maybe it’s just me but I haven’t quite grasped this one. Where is the user guide to Snapchat?

When my youngest sister graduated from college a few weeks ago she goaded me into downloading the little yellow app to see her “story.”

Stories on Snapchat are snippets of pictures or videos strung together to make one flip-book recount of your recent snaps. These, unlike the snaps you normally take, last longer. They live on your profile and anyone can see your story.

I was intrigued by my sister’s story that she was accumulating and updating as graduation weekend progressed, and I guess sisterly love and curiosity got the best of me.

I received my first snap from Taylor. It took about five minutes to figure out how to watch it (leave your finger on the screen and the snap plays).

And after spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how to reply, I decided I needed a guide to Snapchat!

Snapchat lessons

I swear to you that lesson was like being back in algebra class. Letters combined with math … it just didn’t compute.

Depending on which definition you go by I’m Gen X (I was born in 1980). I cannot be a millennial. There’s no way. I appreciate and understand tech, but this whole Snapchat business is beyond me.

The platform is not user-friendly. It is hard. And I am convinced it is not meant for adults. Maybe it’s a conspiracy.

I liken it to my mom wanting to play video games with us back in the day. This was the first generation Nintendo — only the directional cross and two red buttons. Easy right?

Yet watching my mom, who would physically jump if she needed her player to jump, try to grasp that simple controller was one of the most perplexing and aggravating things I’ve ever seen. It was like she left Neverland.

“She’s too old. Grown-ups don’t get it.”

Snapchat is what happens to little brat kids who laugh at their moms trying to play video games.

I imagine the disdain my poor sister must have been hiding as I asked over and over again to show me how to reply to a snap, or create text overlaid on my snaps.

Put it to the test

Fast forward to last weekend and I found out some of my girlfriends also have Snapchat. Secretly I was cussing under my breath, because here I am the “social media one” and I have no idea how to reply to a snap.

We managed to avoid the subject for a short time, but finally one of them opened the app and started to “do” a snap of us. But then …
She got turned around. “Wait.”
She hit the back button. “Hold on.”
I asked if she was going to do a snap or make it a story.

“What’s a story?” she asked.

A slow grin spread across my face. I explained what a story was while feeling a great sense of relief.

Apparently I’m not the only adult who finds this platform exasperating.

I get the appeal, but I don’t think it’s got enough oomph to make this thirty-something figure out how to make it work.

A guide to Snapchat — Help is on the way

Don’t let me discourage YOU. Here are a few resources I found to guide me and help me understand the world of Snapchat:

  1. Learning the Snapchat basics
  2. A video tutorial (from kids, who else?!)
  3. Snapchat for beginners 

See you in the social sphere!

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke Ballard is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and co-host of @ReadySetPodcast. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

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