Conner GalwayToday was a big social media day for Vancouver – we got our first ever Snapchat Story, following in the footsteps of Kuwait, New Orleans, Barcelona, Budapest and other major cities around the world.

In today’s Social Update, I take a look at why Snapchat Stories are such a big deal, and how you can get involved in a local story yourself.

Snapchat Story

First, and most importantly, you may have seen even more people than usual shooting scenic selfies, or giving virtual Snap-tours around the city today. That’s because this morning Snapchat opened up “Our Vancouver Story”, which is a portal within the stories tab where anyone inside the Vancouver geo-fence can upload snaps to be considered and curated into the public-facing Snapchat Story of Vancouver.

The real magic of Snapchat is the way that those stories are told. They’re published for no more than 24 hours, and viewed in the same order that they were posted. That seemingly minor difference changes everything to do with storytelling – it means that viewers get to watch your story in chronological order, as if they’re coming along on the ride with you. As you pass through snaps, they become more recent and relevant, where Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all become less timely and therefore less interesting as you scroll down the feed.

The big 3’s feeds also require a fair bit of cognitive lifting as we try to read one after another, understanding that each post that we’re reading actually happened before the ones above. Like watching a Tarantino movie, it can be confusing, and few people on social media are creating content with the same intricate attention to detail as the Pulp fiction Director. The result is that we take each post, tweet and ‘gram on its own, without context – hence the need for perfectly-filtered content.

Those of us who have been Snapping for a little while have been wondering when our town might get a chance to use the Story feature to show itself off to the world, and today is our big day.


The focus on cities to spread the popularity of the Stories feature is a brilliant tactic, especially while Snaps remain one of the only unedited, raw places to posts without the need to perfectly align outfits of the day, or avocado toast (there’s plenty of that on there, but it’s just not as polished). Watching other citys stories gives the viewer a unique look at daily life, and I’ve heard from more than a few people that they were amazed at just how “normal” people in foreign cities seemed to be.

The raw, realness gives people the comfort-level to create their own real snaps, uploading them to the City Story when it comes to their town for the world to see, and the cycle grows itself.

Snapchat story from Karachi, Pakistan

As I’m posting this, the Our Vancouver Story portal is still open, and the Vancouver Story is also live within the Discover tab. To contribute your own perspective, just snap-away from within the Snapchat app, then when you’re prompted to select a recipient, tick the box next to Our Vancouver Story. The Snapchat team will do the rest.

unnamed-300x265Watching the story is as simple as tapping on the circle labelled Vancouver within the Discover row.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Snap-what?”, don’t worry, most of the population is in the same boat. What I will share with you is that I’m having the same conversations this year about Snapchat that I was last year about Instagram, and the year before
about Twitter, and Facebook before that. The conversation typically goes something like this:

Curious Guy: “What’s this (insert network here) thing and why do I care?”
Me: “You’ve got to check it out – it’s a whole new way to share, and millions of people are already using it.”
Curious Guy: “I don’t know, none of my friends are on it – doesn’t sound like a real thing to me.”
Me: “Fair enough, but a there’s a ton of cool stuff being shared, and now is the time to jump on board, because once it goes mainstream, it’s going to become much harder to stand out.”
Curious Guy: “Sure there’s stuff on there, but it’s just kids playing around. (insert network here) will never apply to my business.”

My recommendation: If there’s a time to make a name for yourself in Snapchat, especially as a brand, it’s now. Tom over at Tomsguide put together an awesome little step-by-stepper to get you up and posting on Snapchat check it out here.

Thanks so much for snapping through this week’s Social Update – if you have any favorite accounts, snap-stories, or the next big social-thing, Tweet it at us: @JunctionYVR, or shoot us an email: