The world we live in today is one of social media. Now, more than ever, we can easily share our memories with friends.

Snapchat takes memory-sharing a step further.

Users can share their memories with others, but the memories last only a matter of seconds, allowing the recipient to briefly experience the joy, sorrow, humor, and other emotions that come with the sender’s experience.

To improve the user experience, Snapchat introduced filters—images or color schemes that can be superimposed on a picture or video taken by the user.

Snapchat has its own default filters, of course, but users can also create their own.

There are two ways users can design their own filter: using an online designer or uploading a design. You must upload a community-use filter, but the on-demand filter can be created online.

Since the on-demand filters are more specific and don’t require artistic talent to implement, I focused on the online designer.

Creating a design

The online designer is fairly simple to use. You log into Snapchat on your computer and open the Geofilter designer, then select the filter category you would like, such as “Celebrations.”

The editor is limited, to an extent. There are a variety of presets you can use and tailor to your liking. The main features available to the designer are the ability to insert and modify text, change text color, and upload an image or images from your computer. This last part is quite useful, as it gives you a fair amount of design flexibility.

There are few limits on what you can do with the on-demand geofilters, since you may be able to get something like a logo included. This does have the tradeoff of a cost associated with the filter, and your filter may not be approved as a result.

Putting it out there:

The rest of the process is fairly straightforward. After your design is complete, you select the dates and times you would like the filter to be available. Then you move on to a module where you trace a boundary for where your geofilter will be available. When mapping out the boundary for your filter, a cost estimate will be displayed on the screen.

Once you have selected your area, you have to pay for the filter’s release. This price can range from a $5 minimum to several years of attending college, depending on what you have selected.

Reactions

Since geofilters have a variety of uses, I talked to a few people about their opinions on the feature.

The first thing I noticed was that people who had experience making a filter were more likely to be satisfied with the feature.

“My house had a fall party recently, and we created a Snapchat filter for it,” junior Mattison Flakus said. “It was such a simple thing but really amazed the guests and made us seem really legit for just five dollars.”

In a stark contrast, freshman Jimmy Yang had a much more mixed reaction to the feature. He didn’t realize that it was possible to create your own Snapchat filters.

“I’m not sure I’d want to use it,” he said after I guided him through the creation process. “Maybe if I’m asked for a wedding or something, but I can’t think of a good reason to pay a few bucks for such limited advertising, otherwise.”

Verdict

While I am not the biggest Snapchat user, I see some value in making your own filters. They make for a great way to show pride about something or get your message out to people. I can very easily send a snap with a UR filter to show people how much I love this school.

At the same time, I don’t see Snapchat filters as something generally viable for us college students. To cover just the River Campus with your filter for one hour, you will have to pay about $1,600. There aren’t a lot of people here who have or would want to spend that much money on a simple design.

That being said, student organizations with some money could find use for this. The Students’ Association (SA), for example, could create their own filter to be used at an SA event, potentially at a low cost.

There is also the possibility of “Community Geofilters,” which are free—if approved. This approval, however, is not given if the filter contains any “trademarks and logos, including school crests,” or if the filter is “not visually interesting or useful enough,” according to Snapchat’s website.

If you want to utilize a Geofilter, I would consider putting in for a Community Geofilter, which comes at no cost to you. This option does carry risks, since you need to effectively impress Snapchat and show the company that your filter is worthy of release. If you aren’t the most artistic or want to use an on-demand filter, you should ask yourself if it is worth the time and money to enhance memories that will last mere seconds.

Tagged: Snapchat


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