From their facial filters to their My story feature, Snap Inc. has been constantly pushing the boundaries of how we produce, manipulate, and share content with others online. 2017 has been a big year in terms of the number of features Snapchat has included in their updates, and they have continued that trend with Crowd Surf. This feature, and newest addition to the Snap universe, allows users to experience live concerts /events in ways that have never been possible…until now.
Although Snap Inc. seems to be caught in an “imitation game” with the likes of Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat has seemed to retain an edge with their content coverage of, and engagement with, live events around the world. With the help of user generated content, along with geolocation technology, Snap Inc. was able to make the world that much smaller by giving users an inside look into the events that are happening around the world in real time.
But Snapchat’s Crowd Surf feature brings the viewing experience to an entirely new level. Crowd Surf was first tested at pop singer Lorde’s performance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival. Crowd Surf uses an AI to sync up Stories to the songs they are recording and allows users to flip between multiple viewpoints, in real time.
If you’ve ever had friends that uploaded snaps of themselves at concerts, often at times the snaps are in fragments, and sometimes even with a loss of audio quality. What makes Crowd Surf so special is that the power is now in the hands of the viewer to jump through snaps without a break of continuity. At any given time within Lorde’s performance, users could switch perspectives on a whim without a loss of image or sound quality. This isn’t a compilation of snaps merely organized in a sequence, this is a viewing experience that lets you engage with multiple perspectives all at once.
If you’re not that tall and struggle to see over people’s shoulders at any given event, the Crowd Surf feature is just what you need. The Crowd Surf feature brings a whole new way of experiencing live events. Virtually anything from sporting events, live concerts, or any other celebration, can be improved through the Crowd Surf feature- which provides an entirely new viewing experience.
Snap Inc.’s ability to organize user generated content with location tagging and time stamping, emphasize a sense of “shared experiences” that invoke a sense of community within the platform; something that still seems to be lacking in other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Looking into the future, Snap Inc. could bring a whole new experience to how people view live events through their mobile devices. In times like today, social media copy-cats exist everywhere, each taking ideas from one another and subsequently tweaking it for their own platform. In order to keep up with other social media giants like Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat has to continuously innovate the way we view and experience digital content. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.