Look Out, Instagram. Dubai Has a New Social Media Darling: Snapchat

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At last week’s #TheSFItList dinner, the topic of conversation quickly turned to Snapchat, with questions such as “Are you on Snapchat?” and “How do you even Snapchat?” serving as proof that the cultish app is quickly gaining traction amongst the region’s key tastemakers.

For those unfamiliar with Snapchat, it’s an app that allows users to take photos or videos, known as snaps, which can then be sent to friends and will be visible to them for a maximum of ten seconds. Once viewed as a rather risqué application (we’ll let you use your imagination there), Snapchat has rapidly become the latest chic form of communication, with everyone from international fashion bloggers the likes of Leandra Medine and Aimee Song to regional personalities such as Huda Kattan and Tala Samman jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon.

The question is why?

“I feel like snaps show more of who I am! I really like to make people laugh, I’m more goofy than anything, not so much of a glamor girl,” Huda Kattan recently posted on her Instagram, broadcasting ‘Snapchat: RealHudaBeauty’ in her location details. And it seems Kattan is not the only one who feels these bite-sized news stories offer a more authentic insight into who she is as a person. The sentiment is echoed by the estimated 500 million Snapchat stories exchanged daily among users.

With more than two thirds of the app’s users cited as female and under 25, Snapchat also has serious potential to tap into one of fashion’s key demographics, in the same way Facebook then Twitter then Instagram did before it, an undeniable incentive for brands and influencers to drive traffic to the platform at a yallah pace. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues to grow – or disappears from the region’s radar in a metaphorical ten seconds, just like the long lost snaps before it.

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