SNAPCHAT Late to the Party

At First I wasn’t on board with Snapchat, then I was tolerable of it…but now? I’m 100% a believer.

Snapchat might have been the biggest light bulb moment for me from the ICC WT20. I’ve always been anti- a social app which had no real ability to share from, the content was deleted by, and there didn’t seem to be an obvious major purpose for…but I forced myself to use it for that moment when somewhere on my freelance adventure someone asked me to use it. On my personal account I gained a tolerable respect for it – once you get past the terrible unintuitive UI (or maybe that’s my over-23 age talking) it’s a lot of stupid quick fun. Something I can throw a photo or video on and not worry that the lighting is a little wrong or that the content isn’t polished and perfect. Something you can have some fun with and known in 24 hours it’s all but gone, a platform to push the boat out, take risks.

So, when the ICC passed me their account for India v Pakistan (the world’s first ever global cricket story) and asked me to post content on their behalf, I was curious. Easily able to fit the odd in snap while also fulfilling my regular video roles – between or after the bigger shots on my DSLR, or alongside shots from my OSMO of the crowd, it was incredible to watch the numbers. A shot of the crowd over Facebook/Twitter/Website/Vine might hit a few hundred thousand views in game – but a similar, lower resolution, rougher shot on the global Snapchat story happily hit 3 million views at a minimum within the hour.

When the dust had settled, the top watched snap had cracked 4.56 million views while the top video from that day on Facebook was watched 1 million times. This top viewed snap wasn’t anything special. It was the crowd cheering when the stadium announcer asked them to, but it beat a lot of the pre-made and edited content, which a lot more effort went into to make. Now, views aren’t the be all and end all, and I’m not trying to debate the equivalency of one Snapchat impression vs a view on Facebook or a click to a website – the huge thing to me was how easy it was to add several million impressions and views to a day where we were already getting a lot of traffic.

Snapchat has incredible potential and it’s by far the greatest way to share a quick behind the scenes instant look at a sporting contest. I’d call it the must adopt app for any sports team, event or personality. It requires very average levels of videography and photographic skill to use initially and offers the ability to share meaningful content while the action is happening, huge for events where TV rights are still locked away or the action isn’t broadcast effectively. It allows a big personality and some off-brand humour to leak through. It’s the platform to have fun and go all in.

Snapchat has been growing and growing, and it’s not stopping. I love the geo-filters and their updates to Discover. I can’t wait to see what they do going forward for the rest of 2016 and into the future.

Photos and words provided by Rhodri Williams -

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