USF: a Snapchat Story

USF geotags can be used in your snaps on and around campus. ORACLE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

For avid social media users, the USF campus Snapchat story is where temporary stardom can be achieved. While the story may be popular among students, making the story is not an easy feat.

Any snappers in Bulls country, or anyone who has been on campus within a 24 – hour period, can view the story. Students who send in snaps cross their fingers and hope for a chance to be included, but few understand how the selections are made.

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media, with over 8 million active users, according to Business Insider. The app. can be used for sending pictures and videos to friends with limits on how long the recipient can view them. 

Once a video or image, known as a “snap,” is sent, it can last up to 10 seconds before it disappears. Another popular feature is the “story,” where users can post snaps of what is happening in day-to-day life for a 24-hour period. Additionally, each individual user has a personal story that only his or her friends can see. The timing aspect of this social medium is what motivates users to check their accounts on a daily basis.

A fairly new feature on Snapchat is the “campus story,” Users within the range of a predetermined geotag filters for a photo or video that can be added within a certain geographic radius — can post stories, some of which are selected to create a video and photo collage that is viewed by users around the globe.

Popular stories are of beautiful cities around the world and sporting events. Nearly every week, college and professional football games are featured with geotags of the current score, among others. The story for Tuesday’s Democratic Debate — called “Fight Night Dems Debate” — had a series of geotags, including short fact blurbs and profiles on each candidate. 

Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat is directly responsible for deciding who is featured on the campus story, as opposed to an on-campus representative. The story usually consist of athletes, the renowned squirrels and ducklings on campus, students showcasing dancing or singing talents, teachers holding unique lectures and, of course, an occasional appearance by Rocky D. Bull.

Student opinions on the USF campus story content vary. Some are enthusiastic, Others are hardly impressed by the story since it isn’t broadcast to the entire Snapchat world.

“I like it because it’s usually a vast representation of campus activities and funny to watch,” said Hailley Nieves, a freshman majoring in marine biology.

While the content is chosen to accurately represent current events on campus, some feel it often repeats itself and could be more diverse“What I’ve noticed is that it’s a majority of dancing … but it captures what USF is about,” said Devan Kreitzer, a freshman majoring in political science.

But the big question has always been, how do you get that one perfect snap of a squirrel on a bicycle featured on the story? 

Snapchat reviews submissions to the campus story before adding them. Many students, sometimes without luck, try to make it on.

“I tried posting a funny snap video about the squirrels and it didn’t get on, and I was aggravated and haven’t tried since,” said Danielle Campanaro, a freshman majoring in education.

In addition to the campus story, the university has its own Snapchat account, “usouthflorida,” where updates and live events can be viewed. The university’s Snapchat story posts include behind-the-scenes looks at athletic events, advice on where to find deals on campus and updates on live events.

“We’re using it as an innovative way to connect with students,” said Ashley Rodrigues, digital marketing coordinator and one of the faces behind “usouthflorida.”

With about 2,900 views on each story, USF’s Snapchat is utilized as a live view of what is going on at USF and is especially tailored for students. The university’s story is directly controlled by the Digital Media Team, but is often “taken over” to receive a behind the scenes view on particular events, Rodrigues said. 

A takeover partnership with Tampa Bay Lighting’s Snapchat, lightningnhl, will be taking place in order to bring a behind-the-scenes look for Bulls and to further encourage communication with the hockey organization. 

Whether it is watching the USF campus story or the “usouthflorida” account’s videos, Snapchat can be used to stay updated on what is happening in Bulls Country.