In the wise words of Drake, “F*ck a fake friend, where your real friends at?” The answer, hopefully, is in your Snapchat friends list.
Snapchat is introducing a new feature Tuesday called Friend Check Up. Rolling out in the coming weeks on Android and following months on iOS, Friend Check Up will prompt users to take a look at their friends list and remove people who aren’t their “real friends,” as Snapchat puts it. It’s part of a larger internet health and safety (and branding) initiative to prevent the spread of misinformation and other harmful content or experiences on the platform.
Friends on Snapchat are more akin to friend lists on Facebook than they are to follower/following lists on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. That is, on Snap (and Facebook), friends follow each other — it’s always mutual. On the latter social networks, however, following can go one way. Snap users can also “subscribe” to public figures and certain creators, but that’s distinct from “friending.”
As the feature rolls out, users will get a notification on their profile page that reads: “Snapchat is for real friends. Tap to review your friend list.” Users can then scroll through the list and if they come across someone they think no longer belongs, they navigate to their profile, click the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner, and select “Remove.” Friends won’t be notified when you remove them (phew!).
What constitutes a “real friend,” according to Snapchat (and Drake), is obviously a subjective concept. But what Snapchat is getting at here is an effort to encourage users to keep their friend list up-to-date with people they actually want to talk to. For example, users might want to remove people they’re no longer in touch with, users added by mistake, and, of course, exes.
Why would Snap want to do this? This pruned approach to the friends list is, in part, how Snapchat wants to guide its users’ experience of the app, as well as distinguish itself from other social networks. The misinformation that spreads through acquaintances or groups of strangers on internet platforms has become toxic for users, society — and social media companies’ brands. With this update, Snapchat is once again trying to say that it’s different.
“One source of risk on digital platforms are the connections that can be created — sometimes at the explicit urging of the platform — with people who we don’t know in real life and who may expose us to negative experiences,” a Snap spokesperson said via email. “The architecture of our platform is designed to encourage connection and communication between those who are real friends, while making it much harder for strangers to find and friend Snapchatters.”
Keeping your Snapchat friends list comprised of your actual friends is a good idea. One of the most fun features of Snap is the Snap Map, which shows your location and the location of your friends. It’s a really cool way to see what your friends are up to, but not necessarily something you want to broadcast to a bunch of acquaintances. This also might encourage you to use Snapchat stories (remember those?) for more authentic, less polished updates since Instagram stories can be viewed by anyone if you have a public profile
However, it’s not like curating your friends list on Snapchat makes for a totally pure experience with only content you actually sign up to see. The Discover tab is rife with content just waiting to suck you into a hole, as is the newly launched Spotlight platform, which is Snapchat’s TikTok competitor.
Snapchat isn’t encouraging you to spring clean the creators you subscribe to, either. So while Snapchat might be for real friends, it’s still also for consuming as much content (and ads) as your brain can absorb.
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ที่มา : Mashable