Like many people I know, one of the first things I do upon waking up is reach for my phone to see what’s going I. Of course, it is essential to catch up on all of the latest Instagram posts I missed, as well as the group message conversations that occurred while I was sleeping. Maybe I’ll even open up my Wall Street Journal app to see what’s new in the world, and then check the weather to decide whether I need my snow boots or not (at the rate we’re going here in Boston, I’ll always need my snow boots).
But one of the recent must-dos that I have found myself constantly checking out are the ever-changing Snapchat filters. Now with a tap on your screen, you can easily transform your face into a puppy, sailor, or queen, just to name a few (the hedgehog is my personal favorite). You can even mutate your smile to take up half of your face, or distort your nose to be the size of a fruit fly (who comes up with these filters¿). Nevertheless, these Snapchat filters have really gained love from the users, being utilized thousands of times a day. Sometimes I’ll even find myself sitting on my bed for hours, simply entertaining myself with all the different filters without even sending the Snapchats out to my friends (I live a sad life). It’s almost as if I’m missing out if received a Snapchat from one of my friends with a face-effect that I haven’t seen before, annoyed that I didn’t discover it earlier. It is clearly obvious that Snapchat filters have become a huge part of social media usage.
Many people have jumped on the Snapchat filter bandwagon, also seeing the potential it has to generate awareness to promote companies, products, and events. These “geofilters” are ways to display what you are doing on Snapchat based on your geographical location. In order for this to work, you need to have your Location Services turned on, along with the Filters setting (some people are reluctant to do this out of privacy issues, but that is a discussion for another time). The geofilter itself is a pre-made graphic that appears on the picture you take, classified into two categories: Community Geofilters and On-Demand Geofilters.
This is a space that attracts the market of designers and artists. People of the community can create a graphic to be used for certain cities, universities, attractions, or other public landmarks. This is a free process to be submitted, and allows any person who enters into these areas to add the created geofilter to the picture they take on Snapchat. I have used this plenty of times before, sharing with my friends the cool sites and places that I see. Since anyone can submit a Community geofilter (with the exception of using brand logos), there are always new graphics and designs being published for Snapchat users to utilize, making it fun to see what new geofilters will pop up next. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Here are another group of geofilters tailored towards businesses and people trying to gain attention for a certain cause or event. These are paid filters that are can be used to promote certain products or promotions that are currently happening for a business. This aspect has seen a huge increase in usage towards companies since Snapchat has been so popular amongst the various social media platforms. It is a simple and easy way to spread the word and gain attraction for a brand. McDonald’s is one company that has a large inclination towards these geofilters in which they developed various graphics throughout different periods of time. Hollister, Starbucks,
Target, and Express are amongst
the large number of companies that have used these filters to promote their brand. At one point, Hollister created a geofilter that promoted Anti-Bullying, and Express developed one that highlighted its Black Friday sales. As you can see, there are many variations and motives that companies can have for creating these sponsored geofilters.
There are even geofilters created to advertise for new movies coming out, as well as live updates for big sports events occuring. There are really no limits to what a geofilter can be, which is a strong appealing factor to the normal everyday person. These designs don’t only have to represent a company, product, or professional event, but can be created for personal reasons too. Weddings, surprise birthday parties, and baby showers are popular events for these geofilters to be generated for, allowing the parties to be shared amongst multiple social media platforms. Lately, people will even create hashtags for these events to make this sharing process easier, many of the times being included in the geofilter created. As we can tell, Snapchat filters and geofilters have become extremely popular for many social media users throughout the world.