Snapchat and Growth Hacking

I first signed up for Snapchat years ago, but after being completely befuddled by its user interface, I deleted it pretty quickly. I’ve been hearing so much about it lately that I decided to reinstall it and play around.

Overall, it’s been fun talking with friends and checking it out. It’s still inscrutable, but it’s fun.

The notification experience is absolutely unbearable though. If you’re unfamiliar with Snapchat, this is what happens when someone is sending you a message:

snapchat typing notification

This is some majorly user-hostile stuff. I’m guessing it’s in the name of Growth Hacking or some other nonsense, but wow, this is gross. Because I’m a total pedant about notifications, I immediately went on a deep dive figuring out how to configure this nuisance away. Nope. Not possible. There are plenty of “tutorials” online – all of which instruct you how to turn off notifications completely. For a social app… whose primary focus is Direct Message style communication… right…

This is just gross. As the underdog and the platform always being copied, I want to root for Snapchat, but this has to go.