How I learned to stop worrying and make my Snapchat story public


Like many of my fellow web colleagues, I’ve struggled to wrap my brain around how Snapchat works. It’s definitely geared towards a younger demographic with its “swipe this way, swipe that way” user interface.

I’ve got the basics down: I’ve added some friends, I’ve sent some snaps, tried some filters, and even a few face swaps with my kids, often to scary result.

The one area of Snapchat I find the most interesting is the “story” feature. The ability to quickly and easily share updates in that platform is very easy and feels much more interactive than Twitter or Instagram updates, especially since it doesn’t use a timeline-based approach. I can quickly go through all the updates of 1 person, which is nice. This sort of approach hopefully means Snapchat doesn’t see the type of user pushback when timeline changes are made.

I’ve added a few celebrities to see what kind of content famous folks and brands were putting out there. The quality varies pretty widely, though some are doing it better than others. The Cleveland Indians do some pretty neat behind the scenes stuff on Snapchat. I’ve never seen Whitney Cummings do comedy, but after hearing her great interview on the Tim Ferriss Podcast, I added her and it’s been pretty interesting to see how she uses the platform.

snapcodeRecently, something strange has been happening. A ton of people I don’t know started adding me. I don’t know them, and they don’t show up as friends in my friends area. Best I can surmise, is when I wrote a post about creating Snapchat geofilters last year, I included a picture of my snapcode, which you can see to the right. Not that many people read my blog, so they all can’t be coming from that. It’s strange.

As a test, I made my “story” public as a test for all those people who added me so they can see some of my snaps that I share on my story. It’s been pretty eye-opening.


Here’s some basic stats that Snapchat gives you:

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Yes. This past weekend, a picture I posted of the chicken noodle soup I made was viewed 8,400 times in 12 hours. That’s incredible reach and engagement – way more than I get from Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. I’m enjoying my newfound, invisible audience of people I don’t know. I’ve started taking photos more and sharing them, and watching the thousands of views add up. It’s kind of addicting.

If Snapchat is serious about wanting brands to get onboard, they need to offer more robust analytics to not only brands, but all users. There wasn’t an area I could find that I could easily see all the people who have added me. I can see the most recent, but no count of all of them. That would be useful information to do some measurement against, especially since they give you some performance metrics on your post.

Want to see more pictures of my soup, or the delicious roast potatoes I made the other day? Add me. Everyone else is.



1 thought on “How I learned to stop worrying and make my Snapchat story public”

  1. I’m also having a hard time “getting” Snapchat. Definitely starting to feel a bit old. As for your your newfound Snapchat fame, do you think Snapchat is prone to fake/bot accounts like Twitter? I wouldn’t think so since you have to create accounts via the mobile app, but I haven’t done my Snapchat homework yet.

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