Dear Ms. Smartphone: When I asked my older daughter how to surprise my younger daughter for her birthday, she suggested that I make a card for her on Snapchat. I didn’t know that the girls were using Snapchat, and now I don’t know how to make this card! What do you advise? Samantha, San Francisco
Dear Samantha: First, I assume your daughters are age 13 and older and Snapchat does not produce “cards” like Hallmark! The intricacies to post and send make it the province of those under age 25. Put it this way, if you and I can figure out how to navigate Facebook or Instagram, we are probably not the audience Snapchat wants to attract. That is, unless we are corporate sponsors or advertisers.
The ‘cards’ that your daughter suggest might be “homemade” filters and stickers- upgrade options you customize on Snapchat, but for a fee. The fee is based on ‘Time’ X ‘Reach’. Sorry, calculating that is beyond DearSmartphone’s playgrade (!sp!)
But, the learning curve for making a post and having it come out as you planned could be fairly steep. That’s because the gesturing is different than in other apps, and features are hidden from plain view. But, again, that’s the point! said this Time reporter, when it first launched. New features were added to the platform this summer.
I hunch that your daughters will get a big chuckle circulating Mom’s home-made birthday Snap to their regular friends. But your photos and short videos are “alive” for only 24 hours and then they disappear. So, unless you “pay to play” with the filters, you do not have to worry about making a permanent mistake; the content is ephemeral.
The simplest thing may be to take a mug or video of you with other family members , add stock (no fee) stickers and filters and then post or share. Here are “educational” videos about making a birthday greeting on Snapchat . Watch at your own risk! Maybe your older daughter and her friends will continue to make more celebratory stories with you (although I doubt it). If not, remember to close your account!
Have you thought about the cake and an alternative birthday gift? You could give your daughter a few stock shares in Snapchat and in so doing, link her between the virtual world and the real one. When the stock did its Initial Public Offering back in 2018 it opened at $17.00 per share. Today (June 12) the shares are only $20.18. So maybe your daughter, the stock, this platform, and this new reality platform will all reach maturity together! Happy augmented birthday.