IMG_9242Snapchat is one of the most creative and fun communications platforms I’ve ever used. It’s time we all started taking it seriously.

And if you think it’s just a refuge for scandalous content, you’re dead wrong.

I’ve been singing the praises of Snapchat for several months now (as my email newsletter subscribers know). But to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t a big user of the social network.

That recently changed. I’ve been using Snapchat as a primary communication device for a couple weeks now. I think it’s worth every penny of it’s 10 billion dollar valuation.

Here are five things I like about Snapchat.

1. It has your attention

Content on Snapchat disappears in a matter of seconds. That means you actually have to pay attention to what you are viewing. You also have to remember what you sent to someone, or their response isn’t going to make a lot of sense.

I’m a multi-tasker, so I generally scan text messages and email, knowing I can reference them again later. That doesn’t work here. Whether you’re using Snapchat to talk to your friends or to promote your business, you have the viewers’ undivided attention for that short period of time.

2. It’s creative

Basic conversations on Snapchat involve sending photos back and forth with short messages. Coming up with a creative photo to use to respond to someone is a major part of the fun. You’ll use that right side of your brain that’s been hiding away since your childhood.

And because messages are not meant to live forever on some “timeline,” and there are no likes and comments to worry about, the pressure is off and the creativity can flow.

3. It’s fun

Some common elements on Snapchat include… Emojis. Snapsterpieces (Snapchat’s name for photos that include drawings). My story (content from the past 24 hours that you make viewable to all of your friends).

These are fun ways to communicate. The My Story feature alone is an incredible storytelling tool that creative brands can use in a compelling way.

When was the last time a message put a huge smile on your face? I guarantee it will happen the first day you truly decide to communicate on Snapchat.

4. There’s no shortage of content

When you’re my age, most of your friends are not on Snapchat (some because they can’t figure it out). That means that the network has a content problem.

Fortunately that’s been solved in a couple ways. There are creative brands you can follow on Snapchat (Taco Bell, New Orleans Saints, HBO Girls). There’s also the new visually appealing Discover feature, which gives you news and information from legitimate news and information sources (ESPN, CNN, National Geographic, Comedy Central).

People spend a lot of time on Facebook, and that translates to a lot of revenue. Snapchat is clearly learning that lesson too.

But trust me, Snapchat is much more fun if you can get your friends to join.

5. It hits the right audience

I am not the typical Snapchat user. At least not yet. It’s a network that appeals to a younger audience, an audience that many companies covet (and yet have a hard time reaching).

So if you are trying to reach a young audience, and you are smart enough to do Snapchat right, then this is the place for you.

Are you on Snapchat? What are your thoughts?