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Rand Paul joins Snapchat, will that ruin it for teens?

Snapchat could suffer the same fate as Facebook, which saw teens flee once the adults joined

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 15, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3462

Today is going to be a very big day in the history of Snapchat. Years from now, we are either going to look back and see it as either the day that the upstart social network entered the mainstream, or the day that it all started going downhill.

What could possibly be happening that is so make or break for such a hot company, you ask?  Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 is the day that the adults finally caught on to what Snapchat is.

And I'm not taking about any old adult; it's a... sitting U.S. Senator! Notice the chill up your spine when you read that? Yeah, that's probably how Snapchat is feeling right about now.

Yes, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is going to be joining Snapchat, he announced, via his Facebook page, on Wednesday.

"Did you hear? I joined @Snapchat! For daily updates & behind-the-scenes footage follow: senatorrandpaul on the photo sharing app. I'm sending my first snap tonight," he wrote.

And he is not the only one trying to show off some street cred by referencing the latest Internet craze. Outgoing Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann also referenced the service, using it to, of course, make a comparison in order to bash Obamacare.

Ugh. I can almost hear the screams of teenagers everywhere as their beloved Snapchat is ruined forever.

Things may not be all bad, though, as I can see this going one of two ways.

In one scenario, it becomes like Twitter, where it almost becomes expected that celebrities, politicians and "important" people of all stripes use the service to get closer to the unwashed masses. Even the Pope is on there!

Rather than ruining Twitter, having the establishment invade it actually made it better. Say what you will about Kanye West, but his thoughts are a lot more entertaining than yours and mine.

What is far more likely to happen, though, is that the invasion of adults will result in a situation more akin to Facebook, where teens, seeking out a place that does not involve their parents, will move on to the new thing that they have not heard of yet. 

Remember when the site was opened up to anyone 13 and older, and even those not on a school network, leading to an influx of adults onto the site as well? Just like that, Facebook was no longer cool.

Once the network started being taken over the parents of those teenagers, the teens began fleeing to other, newer social networks. And the same exact thing could happen to Snapchat.

Snapchat has had a rough year so far. First, the company experienced a huge breach on New Year's Eve, which resulted in a total of 4.6 million user names and passwords being leaked. Then Snapchat was hit with a big wave of spam, which forced the company to apologize to its users.

More than security breaches and spam, though, I think that the first snap that every teen gets from their mother will do far more damage to the company's image. 

(Image source: http://www.msnbc.com)


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