Snapchat is a service used on mobile phones that allows the user to send photos with short optional text messages to those who also subscribe to the service. As of December 2013 there are 30 million monthly active users (Shontell) . As young adults are the ones predominantly using snapchat, it may have the qualities of a useful tool for YA authors to promote and connect to their readership (Colao).
- Large audience, popular predominantly with young adults
- Can send video, images, limited text
- Reach young adults on device they are often using (smart phone)
- Limits text communication
- Focus on anonymity – not useful for YA authors as a promotional tool
- Ability to screenshot in order to save image
- Have to have smartphone to send/receive
Young Adult Authors & snapchat
While snapchat is important in terms of young adult use, there are no young adult authors who use the service to promote their works or to connect with their readership. You are mostly limited to sending photos (that are intended to disappear from your device). This may not be attractive to authors who want to create a sincere, substantial relationship with the public.
The only YA author know to have tried snapchat to connect with readers is John Green. His experience highlights the reason an author might use it: to stay relevant with young adults.
In finding that snapchat was not useful for him, he deleted it the same day:
If John Green can’t make it work, then it’s safe to say it is not a useful tool for YA authors! The fact that he uses twitter to announce snapchat (and the deletion of it), reinforces how much more effective Twitter is to connect with a young adult adult readership. From the perspective of a library, an outlet such as instagram would be a more effective way than snapchat to reach young adults with photos.