I use Snapchat daily. I very rarely watch Snap stories or look at the news on it, but I use it quite a lot. For the record, I think the filters are the best feature they've ever created.
However, people use Snapchat differently, depending on the person. Certain people feel the incessant need to watch everyones Snap stories, either out of intrigue or simply wanting to get the listing to go away. Some people use it to maintain the streaks they've worked so hard to create. Others use it for interesting news or a way to make funny posts, and there's still so much more to it.
I've used Snapchat as a way to initiate talking to guys without directly texting them. We've all done it. You beautifully craft the facade of a "mass Snap", but in reality, it is going to that person and that person alone. Once they've answered, perfect -- they've landed directly into my trap (that sounds a lot creepier than it should).
It also creates meaning where there wasn't any before. The yellow heart signifies that you and that person are each other's mutual top friend, after two weeks it's red and after two months it's pink hearts.
But it is so much more than that.
It's a way to dictate a relationship status. If you see someone with the two pink hearts, there is a part of you that recognizes a commitment to maintaining that status.
In the same breath, that's what streaks do too. We don't want to lose our streaks with our best friends, so we make sure that we Snap them every day to continue it.
If someone didn't like our picture on Instagram, would we notice? Probably not. If someone didn't answer our snapchat, or ended our Snap streak, or got the yellow heart with someone else? We'd notice immediately.
When you break it down, they've put emojis next to people's usernames that you send pictures to. Except it's not just emojis, there's a definition attached and that's why it holds meaning. By tapping into an emotional element, Snapchat has created its permanence in our lives.