Snapchat, a photo-centered social app, has managed to stand apart from its counterparts. Thanks to its unique ephemeral quality, photos shared on the app are there one second and gone the next. However, for the Snapchat team, the search is always on for ways to take the app to new levels and hold the interest of users. Their latest move has done just that.


Snapchat’s “Our Story” was introduced earlier this year as a project that allows the app to create streaming photo compilations of user images from major events. These streams, like all other images on Snapchat, can be viewed for a brief period before its gone.


Snapchat first launched "Our Story" in June, and has since created photo compilations for such events as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and Diwali in India (

Snapchat first launched “Our Story” in June, and has since created photo compilations for such events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and Diwali in India (

As the world prepared to welcome 2015, Snapchat prepared to take “Our Story” further than ever before. Not only would users be able to create a New Year’s Eve photo story featuring images of people ringing in the New Year around the world, but it would also broadcast the photo story in an entirely new way: on video screens in Times Square in NYC.


This was a major step forward for the app, and it marked the first time that Snapchat displayed its photos outside of the app itself.


Prior to “Our Story,” Snapchat was was a bit of an unknown, despite its popularity in facilitating communication among users between the ages of 18 – 24. With their New Year’s Eve broadcast, the app may have successfully expanded their footprint into the social media space, and their relevance to a wider audience.


By drawing focus to its strength as a mobile-friendly communications platform, Snapchat might be positioning themselves as a valuable app that brands can utilize for PR purposes. Doing so could contribute to brand awareness, and a strong level of social media and tech-proficiency that could frame companies as increasingly relevant for contemporary audiences.


How do you think Snapchat’s Times Square broadcast of Our Story can transform the role of the app, both as a social media player and as an important tool for companies and communication experts? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi