Auckland city’s 24 hours of fame on Snapchat’s ‘Life’—UPDATED

(UPDATE) Social media marketing agency, Socialites, has taken a stand against Snapchat’s attempt at its ‘Auckland Life’ compilation and is inviting users to send Snaps into its own channel, called Snap Auckland.

A release says the Snaps sent to the agency will be curated and sent out as the “real Auckland story”.

It says “The campaign is in response to yesterday’s cringe-worthy Auckland live video story feed on Snapchat, which was dominated by bad karaoke, dull footage of people in taxi cabs, [and]an empty Rainbows End theme park.”

A spokesperson for Socialites says: “Auckland is a pretty epic city, full of life and vibrancy and we feel the Snapchat Auckland Live story missed some of what makes Auckland so awesome. We know Auckland can do better so we are calling on Aucklanders to show Snapchat and the world what makes our coastal city so special.”

The agency called upon Content Boutique which created a video overnight urging Aucklanders to send in their snaps, and Mish Guru software will be curating the stories until Sunday “and putting together a new Auckland Snapstory which shows another, more beautiful and real side of Auckland,” Socialites managing director Wendy Thompson says.

When we spoke to her she said a few hundred Snaps had already been sent in, over just a two hour period.

The Snap Auckland story will go live on Monday, according to the release. 

Original story: 11th June

Image and video-sharing mobile app Snapchat has put the spotlight on New Zealand for its “Life” initiative which features everyday clips from famous cities around the world and has thus far included the likes of New York, London, Dubai, Cape Town, Dublin, and Liverpool and as of Tuesday, Auckland. 

These ‘Life’ compilations feature ‘snaps’ of the sights of the particular city and the shenanigans of its occupants. To upload a snap, Aucklanders had to select the option “Our Auckland Story” in the app and while there is no clear description by Snapchat on how the platform compiles the snaps, reports online say a Snapchat team filters through to make sure they are appropriate for public viewing, presumably also choosing the ones they find most interesting.

In ‘Auckland Life’, predictably we saw multiple shots of the Sky Tower (including one person jumping off it), the view from Mt Eden, the deputy Mayor of Auckland Penny Hulse urging people to “come visit”, a helicopter ride over the city, buskers, the Warriors in a training session and a man shaving his beard for charity, plus many more. Most were humorous and entertaining and others perhaps a little cheesy.  All had crisp, clear video and audio and there was a flow to the snaps, with the last one being an image of the Sky Tower at night reading “Goodnight Auckland”.

The ‘life’ stories appear almost like a tourism commercial, but from a much more personal and less polished perspective which lends a more realistic unedited viewpoint of what a city is like. Though of course, since Snapchat filters through the snaps, viewers will only be seeing the ones that show off the city best.  

At this stage it is unclear whether Snapchat is using these stories as a form of tourism advertising but according to Wojdylo “Most people are finding they are getting between 5 and 10 million views when they are featured on a major Snapchat Story.”

Aucklanders and New Zealanders in general appear to have mixed messages about ‘Auckland Life’ with many expressing their amusement, embarrassment or disapproval on Twitter. Aucklanders were particularly unimpressed by Snapchat’s misspelling of the city, calling it “Aukland”, others were annoyed ‘Auckland Life’ predominantly features white young people, despite the level of racial and ethnic diversity in Auckland.

Many were hyped that New Zealand was even featured and were particularly excited if their friends popped up in the compilation. And international viewers of ‘Auckland Life’ seemed mostly impressed by our lovable Kiwi accents.

Snapchat also launched a special “South Auckland” filter which has also got people talking on social media.

Mashable says last June, Snapchat launched its feature called ‘Our Story’, which lets users attending specific live events submit pictures and videos through the app to a curated collection or Story. Those collections are made available to all Snapchat users, regardless of their location at a given moment or who they follow, in near real-time. ‘Life’ appears to be a variation of this, but instead it showcases an entire city.

People are on their mobile devices so much now that Snapchat’s coverage of events could become more popular than television coverage, with Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel telling Mashable that “More people are watching college football on Snapchat than they are on television”.

And while the platform says it’s in the early stages of figuring out advertising, it’s doing something right, as it’s been reported Snapchat is valued at over $10 billion.

A study also found that Snapchat is proving more popular with college students in the US than Facebook users. The findings show that while 70 percent of college students report posting on Snapchat at least once a day, only 11 percent report posting on Facebook with the same frequency.

And on related note, a fellow app which is comparable to Snapchat and gaining momentum is Periscope, a live video-streaming app for iOS and Android developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. It was purchased by Twitter for a reported $100 million in March this year and was released on 26 May this year for Android. When on Twitter, Periscope users can allow users to see links tweeted to view their live-stream videos.

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