I decided to do this tonight due to the fact I will be pretty busy on Wednesday night, and was originally planning on just skipping this week but then I got a Snapchat…
A video from the “Team Snapchat” account, portraying what looks like 2 siblings in a thrift shop buying a trinket for their mom. The boy only has 15, so he asks his sister to send him some cash. She promptly whips out her phone, opens Snapchat, and types $15 in a chat box to her brother. The world then zooms in to the insides of Snapchat where dancers sing in delight about the new service called Snapcash. There. I just explained it in a paragraph. The sentence version is basically “hey guys, you can link your Snapchat to a debit card and send people money now”.
So, let’s talk about it.
I think this is absolutely great. I find myself really quite critical of Snapchat, as their Android app is a steaming pile of trash that tends to disable my camera at times, forcing a restart, and it’s a carbon copy of the iOS version. But hey, continuity, right?? Regardless, I think this Snapcash thing is a great step forward in casual transactions. Sure I can go buy groceries or buy concert tickets with my Apple Pay/Google Wallet account, but can I use my phone to randomly spot a friend 5 bucks when he needs to buy Wendy’s? Not very efficiently until now. At least I hope.
Snapchat really could screw this up. Bad. Like New Coke bad. If there isn’t enough security to begin a transition, what’s stopping your friends from taking your phone and sending themselves half your mom’s bank account? Likewise, if there’s too many barriers to begin a transaction, no one will use it. Will there be a limit to how much money you can send in a certain period of time? To me, that seems like a decently smart thing. Or maybe the (gasp) beginnings of rudimentary parental controls on Snapchat (BIG GASP). If that happened, millions of teenagers would basically transform into something not unlike a 65-year-old ex-Marine who fights for his legal ability to own his rifle. I can just hear it now “You can’t do this! I have my rights! This app is decending into communism!!”
Okay, maybe that won’t happen.
I’m quite interested in how this will roll out. If you look on Twitter, the reception seems to be mixed. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s always fun to see what the Twitterverse has to say about a certain topic. And this topic, one that is so new and controversial, is quite fun to read about. Maybe I’ll come back and talk about this in a few months.
See y’all next week!