Snapchat is a social media platform that enables users to share photos and short videos with followers. These ‘Snaps’ are designed to be viewed in real time, so get deleted a few seconds after being viewed. You can also create a ‘Story’, by compiling Snaps and ordering them into a narrative.

Snapchat is primarily aimed at smartphone users; videos and images are displayed vertically and full-screen, so that viewers don’t have to rotate their phones to watch them. This could prove beneficial to authors who want to share book covers, for example.

As with most social media platforms, Snapchat first took off in the US, and is now growing in popularity in the UK. At present, more than 60% of 13-34 smartphone users in the US use Snapchat. Across the globe, there are almost 100 million daily Snapchat users, with 2 billion videos viewed each day.

Snapchat has a younger audience than most other social media platforms, so may be particularly suited to authors wishing to reach a young adult audience. A whopping 60% of users are under 24, and more 18-34 year old Americans watch videos on Snapchat than on any other platform.

To create a Snapchat account, you’ll first need to download the app from the iTunes App Store for iOS or from the Google Play Store for Android. Once downloaded, tap ‘sign-in’ to enter your email address and create your user name. You can’t change your user name once you’ve signed up, so do think carefully about which one to go for. It may be tempting to use the title of your latest book, but you don’t want to build up a community of followers only to have to start again when you have a new book out. For more details on using Snapchat, take a look at the guide to Learning the Basics: Snapchat How to

Ideas for using Snapchat as an author

Things to consider