Tastemakers tapping the interactive nature of Snapchat to show followers their candid sides

Tastemakers tapping the interactive nature of Snapchat to show followers their candid sides

Now you see it, now you don't.

This sums up what Snapchat, fashion's latest social media obsession, is all about.

The app allows users to upload photos or videos, each post lasting 10 seconds or less. Posts that are made public on the Stories feature on the app are available for viewing for 24 hours only.

Since last year, a growing number of tastemakers have started using the photo-sharing app. This means that fashion fans have an additional platform, aside from Instagram, for insider access to fashion events.

With Fashion Week ongoing, Snapchat has been filled with photos and videos uploaded by fashion editors and bloggers. Paris Fashion Week, the last of the four major fashion weeks, ends next Wednesday.

Unlike Instagram, Snapchat is not about being picture perfect. There are very few editing tools, the most popular being the doodle tool, which results in casual photographs that are part of Snapchat's fun appeal. Photos and videos have to be shot using the app, which means that external editing tools cannot be used either.

It also demands full concentration from the user. To view "snaps", a finger has to be placed on the screen in order for photos and videos to show - remove it and the content disappears.

CASUAL SNAPS

Founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, the app is more popular among teens. More than 500 million public "snaps" are viewed every day.

Popular fashion blogger Aimee Song of Song of Style (www.songofstyle.com) is among the group of style stars using the platform. She recently made her account public and uploads up to 10 photos and videos a day.

Her Instagram and Snapchat accounts offer two different perspectives.

On Instagram, she showcases her girly grunge, California-cool style through photos that look good enough to be in a magazine. The content on her Instagram account is closely linked to her blog.

But on Snapchat, Song shows a more candid side to her life and even uploads photos and videos that are unflattering.

"I don't edit myself on Snapchat," Song tells Urban in an e-mail interview.

Lucky's editor-in-chief Eva Chen uses her Snapchat account (theevachen212) to share snippets of fashion shows, as well as more personal moments such as the birth of her daughter.

"All those food pictures that you might think are Instagram overshare, the not-quite-perfect (blurry) shots of landscape - those are all going on my Snapchat. In general, I see it as a more 'real' slice of my life. Instagram is more polished (or at least I try to have it be), whereas Snapchat is a bit sillier," writes Chen on the website of Lucky, a shopping-focused magazine.

Social media strategist Laila Lu says that Chen is what got her onto the platform.

"I love how raw Snapchat is and how shaky some of the videos are. It is as though what I'm viewing is happening in real time," says the 24-year-old Singaporean, who also runs the fashion blog Rock The Trend.

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