Every app has its high and low moments of popularity. Most apps are the center of attention and on everyone’s mind for a short period of time, then fade away, making room for the next fad. Snapchat constantly changes to try to stay away from such trend and keep its users interested, whether it be new daily filters, trophies, or what seems to be the most successful of their developments, Snapchat Streaks. Streaks work by keeping track of the days in a row people have talked to each other with and keep track of it.
Snapchat streak is essentially just number and fire emoji next to someone’s snapchat name. On Drake’s campus, and among high school and college age students everywhere, there are many students that have the app and a number of streaks they’re maintaining. Over the past week, I talked to over 70 students, with the average number of their highest streak being 390 days.
Liz Bregenzer and Anna Jensen, students here at Drake, recently reached 1,000 days on their Snapchat streak. “It’s important for us to keep it up mainly because it would be devastating to lose it! I mean, who wants to be that friend that loses a 1,000-day Snap Streak? But also, we don’t have to try very hard to keep it- a lot of the time, Snapchat feels more like a texting app to us,” Bregenzer said.
Although opinions differ in people with streaks spanning from a few days to a few years, most snapchat users like it allows users to express their emotions and actions a lot clearer than texting.
Several other Drake students felt similar. Zoe Dittmar, a first-year student, also has a streak in the thousands -1065- and explained her thoughts on the concept, “I feel like for a lot of our generation, it’s just a way to get to know people more casually. You can have a conversation that’s a little more lowkey than trying to continue a conversation over text.”
However, not everyone sees the excitement surrounding Snapchat streaks. Several people believe Snapchat streaks endorse meaningless communication.
“I never considered Snapchat streaks an important part of my use of social media just because of the almost forced nature about them. Posed faces and small talk conversation for no real reason just doesn’t make sense to me.” Anna Neidermeier, a first-year commented. “Streaks have become such a huge part of Snapchat, and I think it reinforces the idea of keeping up a certain social image, maintaining a certain amount of streaks, and getting a specific amount of notifications each day to feel good about yourself.”
A common reason for streak maintenance among students was that they didn’t want to lose communication with friends. For many first-years, they are far from their homes and friends for the first time and use the streak to keep up daily communication.
Snapchat streaks have saved the app in terms of daily usage, but have become a controversial subject. Are they a great way to communicate causing the app to be on the path to replacing texting? Or are they a meaningless form of communication, simply causing an increasing technology addiction?
Neither Snapchat streaks nor the app itself are anywhere near fading out of existence, and controversy will only continue, as streaks, and stakes, raise higher and higher.