Does Lightning Strike Twice in Social Media?

By: Donald Smith

So, Facebook has begun to update its mobile application in several countries with a new feature called, Facebook Stories. This new feature allows users to post photos and videos that can be viewed up to two times by an individual user and will disappear 24 hours after being posted. Facebook has been testing this feature for some time. Back in July, Facebook tested a feature similar to Stories called Quick Updates.  However, the Stories feature sounds fairly similar to another app’s feature… oh yeah, Instagram Stories.

[Facebook Stories Status Bar] By: Business Insider

Instagram’s Stories feature allows its users to post photos and videos that can be view until a 24-hour time period has passed. The app originated in 2010 as a social media network that specialized in the sharing of photos. It then added the Stories feature in August 2016. Unfortunately, this sounds familiar to another app’s feature as well, Snapchat. Snapchat is recognized as the originator of the feature known as Stories. This particular feature, having user-generated disappear after 24 hours, is the entire premise of Snapchat.

Fascinatingly, Instagram has had substantial success since the integration of the Stories feature. The views and posts to Stories on Snapchat dropped by 15 percent, and sometimes up to 40 percent, while views and posts to Instagram Stories grew at alarming rates. Another shocking discovery is the number of downloads for Snapchat’s app plummeted on the launch date for Instagram’s Stories, which dropped into 11th place. Although Snapchat is still popular, by being in the top 25, it has taken a hit.

Now, it is not unknown for social media platforms to adopt features from one another. Interestingly enough, Instagram has done this before. It did this by implementing a 15-second video recording/editing feature. This feature was added to oppose, the video leader at the time, Vine. If you did not know, Facebook owns Instagram. Although Instagram found success from appropriating other apps’ features does not mean Facebook will have the same success.

Facebook is missing a large point, Uses and Gratifications Theory. The theory states users are active participants in the communication process by actively selecting specific media content to consume according to their needs. This means that individuals choose to use certain apps for certain purposes. Facebook’s demographic is moving toward an older audience who are sentimental and believe in the long-term. Therefore, they are not going to find much use out of an app that is the “now” or here today and gone tomorrow. It is Millennials, or 17 to 26-year-olds, who live within the fleeting moment. So, I do not see a reason for Facebook implementing this new feature if their user demographic does not use the app for the gratification of living in the moment. There is no such thing as a one-stop hub for social media.

Snapchat and Brand Engagement

by Josh Wilbanks


As a millennial and a person who has engaged with social media a majority of their young life, I have found myself in an odd position about where to post content where it would be most appropriate on which form of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc). For any company that’s trying to target potential buyers, this is now a crucial aspect in the communication planning process. However, companies such as Facebook and Twitter provide analytics to contribute to understanding post engagements and where exactly views are generating from. Snapchat, an app that is used widely by a younger audience, has emerged as a place to produce “photos and short videos (called “snaps”) [that] self-destruct after being viewed by the recipient.” (Slotnick) For one-on-one interactions, this is the perfect place to send messages without being really held accountable but for a company that is looking to grow a brand, it has more faults than it does gains.
Snapchat is used mostly by a younger crowd which unfortunately means that companies are targeting users who don’t even necessarily have the buying power. By investing in such an app, they are putting their faith in click-through advertisements that disappear after so much amount of time. Snapchat hasn’t evolved to allow data analytics to the level that other social networking platforms due to the fact that you can’t even truly get a clear number of people who are following you, only who has viewed (or click passed) your post within the 24 hour increment. The app isn’t to the level of others as it “is not a forwarding mechanism that can make messages go viral, it may be difficult for emerging brands to be found.” (Slotnick) Viewing a message once isn’t enough to make a likely effect on a buyer and even more when you can’t truly tell the target audience that the brand is capturing.
Snapchat still needs time to evolve as both a brand and social networking company before it can reach the expectations that companies have as users to fully invest their advertising in. However, as an individual user of the app and for its day-to-day use, it is fast entertainment and a quick communication tool.


Works Cited

Slotnick, Stacy. “Cold Snap: Should Brands Use Snapchat?” The Huffington Post., 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.




Keeping your Social Media PG during Spring Break?

Photo Credit: The Odyssey Online

By: Kenya Mavhera

That moment when it’s 2:30 in the morning and you’ve had one too many tequila shots that you’ve lost count, but you somehow manage to still have your phone and you just took a crazy video of your friend taking body shots off this random hot guy at the club. This is where the moment of truth comes into play; do you post the video of the amazing time you’re having to be seen by all your followers or do you keep your social media PG and save the video instead of posting it? POST IT, duh! Is that even question? Why wouldn’t you want everyone seeing how much fun you’re having? Come on people, it’s SPRING BREAK!

Those are the thoughts that run through spring breakers heads every time they post a fun crazy video or picture. People want everyone seeing where they are and how much fun they are having so their followers can wish they were there as well. Social media has a way of taunting us, especially during spring break. Posting where you are, updating your story, and uploading multiple photos is the normal thing. Snapchat even created its own “Spring Break” filter and story which encourages spring breakers to constantly be snapping and posting in hopes to get featured on their worldwide story for everyone to see! Another feature snapchat has is their geofilters which allows you to let your followers know where you are and what you’re up to based on your location. Instagram sits there waiting patiently for you to finally upload 1, 2, 3…10 photos of your spring break shenanigans. I mean how could you not post anything when all you see when you scroll down your timeline is photos of people having a blast at the beach or wherever they’re at! When it comes to social media though, there are unsaid rules about what you post and where you post it. Facebook for example is where you post your PG photos for your family and relatives to see. Everyone knows your buck wild photos are usually posted on another not so family friendly social media account.  Instagram is where the PG-13 photos are normally posted since you usually follow more friends than family on there. These photos can reveal a little more skin/cleavage or maybe have a casual beer or two in the background. Now when it comes to snapchat that’s when things get crazy real quick. Everyone knows that when you post something on snapchat it’ll disappear in 24 hours, this gives people a lot more leeway on what they post since it doesn’t stay up forever. This is where the R photos/videos come in, especially during spring break.

Photo Credit:

With spring break just passing it’s safe to say that I saw my fair share of PG, PG-13, and R rates posts. So that brings us back to the question; can you keep your social media PG during spring break? I guess there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. People are going to do crazy things during spring break and what better way to publicize that then to post a video on snapchat or upload a photo on Instagram. Our generation is heavily involved in social media, now a days if you’re not posting anything during spring break then you might as well be vacationing under a rock. We feel so pressured to be posting our whereabouts at all times but I guess that’s where the saying comes from, “Pic it or didn’t happen!”

Photo Credit:


Rogers, Tim. “My Wife Let Me Go on Spring Break with a Bunch of College Kids. This Is What I Learned.” Fusion. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

Mendoza, Madalyn. “Study: South Padre Island ranks 2nd in the nation for spring break alcohol, drug Instagram posts.” San Antonio Express-News. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

Don’t Believe Everything…

By: Gabriela C. Perez


When it comes to social media, everything is not what is seems. I set out to prove this by conducting a little social experiment of my own. Last week, a Harry Potter movie marathon turned into group temporary tattoos. You know the ones, where a little water will help you go from innocent kid to badass in about 20 seconds. The one I chose actually looked kind of real after removing the piece of paper, so I decided to take it a step further. A little bit of plastic wrap and a Snapchat post later, the wheels were in motion as I waited to see if anyone would actually fall for it.

Picture Credit: Snapchat


Like they say, if you snap it, they will come.


Less than five minutes later, messages started rolling in, most of them saying how much they loved the newest edition to my body. Part of me wanted to tell them it was fake, the other half wanted to wait and see how many people would actually be fooled. I chose the latter decision. By the end of the night, about 12 people had congratulated or asked me about the tattoo.

Despite the fun and games, anyone who TRULY knows me, knows I’m deathly afraid of needles. Like “run out of the room during a doctor’s appointment because it was time for my flu shot” afraid. I’m serious, I hid in the bathroom.

However, this serves as a lesson to not believe everything you see on social media. Most of the time, people are posting what they want you to see, in hopes of making their followers believe that their life is so much more glorious and interesting than it actually is. We’re all guilty of it; posting pictures of videos from the fun-filled Wal-Mart trips, the exotic looking food you just ate, the zoomed-in concert videos. Social media helps us to create this alternate persona and gives us the option to choose what parts of our lives we’re willing to let others see.

What we must remember is to see between the lines and not believe every little thing someone posts about. News has shown us this time and time again. We live in an age where it’s important to fact-check everything. Or get caught in someone else’s fake Snapchat scheme. It’s up to you.



Davis, Wynne. “Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts.” NPR. NPR, 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 19 Mar. 2017. 

Zolfagharifard, Ellie. “Welcome to Fakebook: More than 75% of people admit to making their lives seem more exciting on social media.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 01 Feb. 2016. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.


South by Social Media

By: Connor Gray

I’ve never really considered Spring Break to be a time to actually go somewhere. Usually I just head back home for the week because I don’t deserve a nice trip somewhere. This year that completely changed thanks to my job with the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau. My grand-boss’s decision this year was to bring me along with some of my co-workers to South by Southwest for the Interactive portion of the festival. For those that don’t know South by Southwest (usually SXSW) is a conference/festival consisting of three different tracks of interactive, film, and music. While each section provides different opportunities per pass, my interactive pass allowed me to go to career building workshosp with extreme professionals in my field alongside information on areas that I knew nothing about.

Here are some of the highlights of some of SXSW sessions that I’ve been to so far as far as social media is concerned:

Levi Strauss and the Internet of Things:

On an advertising level, this was an amazing opportunity. The session consisted of Ivan Poupyrev, a technical program lead at Google, and Paul Dillinger, a vice president of Levi Straus & Company. They primarily focused on a new line of clothing that they partnered together to work on that not only paired with your phone but to the Internet automatically. A person could actually swipe a pad on their pants or a press a button on their jacket to send a tweet. It was amazing and while the technology may not be immediately taken advantage of, it’s definitely a new component to the fashion market. What’s more is that I thought it was crazy that of all companies, Levi’s and Google partnered up.

Atlas Obscura Author:

Ella Morton, author of the hit blog and travel book, spoke on how people have utilized their website with social media to promote hidden places on the map. I’m an avid fan of her book and it was cool to see how different platforms lended to the submission to the actual travel spots.

New York Times Editor (with Vox Reporter):

The executive editor of the New York times sat with Jim Rutenberg to address the current state of the news paper medium. He discuses how Donald Trump and social media reactions made “news great again” While a lot of the discussion focused on politics, I pulled a lot of information on how to create content that is actually memorable on a website and how to share that to specific platforms.


Snapchat for Business:

Interestingly enough this was one of the only sessions that involved Snapchat at all, but it was still extremely valuable. Companies are having an increasingly difficult time trying to utilize Snapchat like their other platforms. People are not necessarily more hesitant to use it, but the businesses don’t necessarily know how to use them efficiently. Not unlike other platforms, the panelists emphasize the need for constant content growing out to build an organic relationship with their viewers.

Brand Booths:

Nearly every company of prominence has sent out a major brand ambassador to run an event here, and social has played a major component to that in general. Esurance has been giving mass giveaways but the only way to find them is through their Snapchat story. Budlight and Canvas both generated personalized gifs of yourself to tweet out with their logos slathered all over them. Nat Geo let you Twitter DM a selfie that would then be drawn by a robot on a chalkboard that utilized Einstein formulas on the actual selfie. The list could go on forever because most of these brands’ driving motivation was to get you to follow them on their platforms and interact with them.

The Biden Cancer Foundation:

This was definitely at the top of my list. I waited hours in the morning and afternoon to not only get a wristband to go, but to actually get a good seat. This man is a personal hero of mine and brought up some essential points about cancer research that even included social media in its own way. One major point he looked at was how badly the access to information there was for both patients and researchers alike. Researchers had a very difficult time pulling secondary research in this field. With Biden’s foundation, they’ve been working digital cloud servers like Amazon and Silicone valley innovators to generate website and social networks to change the culture of the cancer treatment system in America. This speech was intense, powerful and managed to matter to just about any field of study, including social media.

Overall, the conference was an amazing opportunity that has affected my life in more ways than one. Social media proves to be a vital contributing to the festival. Whether it was the hashtags and Snapcodes plastering every inch of venues or a panel based on generating communities on Twitter.


Oh also, I shook Biden’s hand.




  1. (2017, March 12). The Urgency of Now: Launching the Biden Cancer Initiative – SXSW 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from


Soper, T. (2017, March 12). New York Times editor explains how Donald Trump made journalism great again. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from


SXSW Schedule Overview | SXSW Conference & Festivals. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2017, from




snapchatOf all brands, my favorite is Snapchat without question. They are innovative, game-changing, and have managed to give other social media channels scrambling to catch up. I raced to find a pair of Specs when they started selling their first photography merchandise. Within the next week, Snapchat’s official company Snap Inc. will go public. While some aren’t so sure of their success, I am excited to see how this plays out.


Snapchat has become a staple to social media but it’s still extremely new. Snapchat has only been around for six years. With the upcoming opportunity to buy shares, let’s take a look at the history of Snapchat in the last half-decade:



  • Launches as PicaBoo
  • Renamed Snapchat and launches on Android and Apple.



  • Snapchat Stories are introduced changing the motives on the app from interpersonal communication to mass-communication with an audience.
  • Smartfilters come into play which includes temperature, date, and time.
  • Video capabilities are introduced.



  • Users can chat with text with other people.
  • Geofilters are introduced into the app. People can travel the nation and show all of their friends where they are with these unique stickers on their photos.



  • Lenses are introduced where people can wear fun and ever-changing masks on their pictures. (e.g. the dog face, rainbow face, etc.)
  • The Discover section is integrated where news and media outlets begin to publish content to the public.



  • On-Demand Filters become available for sale, where anyone can design a filter and place it on a location for a price.
  • Chat is updated and features a plethora of new emojis, voice and video calling, and stickers.
  • Bitmoji is integrated into the app where people can use emojis that look like them into the app.
  • Memories are introduced where people can look back on any of their saved snaps that are saved via cloud.
  • Spectacles go on sale to the public making this the first hardware that the Specs Inc. has ever sold. Specs are sunglasses that sync directly to the app and record your surrounding from your perspective. The product is exclusively released in a vending machine that travels the country.



  • Spectacles go on sale online to the public.


The Specs Inc. company goes public this week and as soon as I figure out how stocks work, I’m investing. Snapchat has had such a rich history in such a short time.





Bary, E. (2017, February 27). Why Snap Is No Twitter. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from