In a flurry of media attention and buzz, search engine giant Google has recently announced that it will soon be adding a visual publication feature similar to Snapchat's Discover. The new addition to Google's platform will be called Stamp (a combination of the words story and AMP, which stands for accelerated mobile pages), and will similarly show articles from other media publishers--such as BuzzFeed or Tastemade--in an interactive, visually oriented manner.
So what does Google's upcoming feature tell us about why we love to use social media?
Here it is in one sentence:
In a world where perfect, static images dominate social media content, we now readily welcome authentic, unfiltered content and innovatively interactive user engagement to learn about everything.
Even if you don't use Snapchat yourself, it's no secret that the app innovated the way content is published on social media platforms. While platforms like Instagram or Facebook previously specialized in static photography and carefully curated highlight reels, Snapchat emphasized its dedication to creating unfiltered, raw original content.
Rather than tailor their image to what they think people want to see on social media, Snapchat users are instead encouraged to capture rapid-fire, in-the-moment stories for themselves and their friends to watch--all of which disappear 24 hours later. Users scroll down their feeds to laugh at what their friends are up to, show off their daily Stories, and even browse content published by other media platforms through the Discover section in a fun, engaging way.
And the app's success hasn't gone unnoticed by reigning tech giants. Last fall, Facebook and Instagram both added a Stories feature to their apps--Google even recently tried to buy the company for $30 billion.
Ultimately, however, it appears that Snapchat's interactive user interface and authenticity of content--for instance, Snapchat makes it clear when photos are uploaded from the camera roll and not taken through the app itself--continue to attract users, regardless of what other tech companies add on.
So, next time you hop on a social media platform, realize what you're looking for. Who knows, maybe you'll innovate the powerful social sharing industry yourself.