Have Ugandans have finally caught up with, Snapchat? Now I can say my answer to that question is pretty much affirmative. It was just a matter of time for most millennials to get onto the ‘snap bandwagon’. This was evident at yesterday’s final 2017 Blankets and Wine edition, as soon as most people arrived, they connected to Roke Telkom’s high speed internet WiFi RokeSpot, or use their mobile data and snap-chatting was basically the order of the day.
With most telecoms now having some kind of social media bundle in the name of SWIFT or WTF, we’ve seen an avalanche of Ugandan smartphone users most especially the millennials (read as slayers) make Snapchat their default camera app. Not that I count my self among the Gen-Yers — but hey the app is great, and keeps users engaged. It has a slew of usual photo and video filters and also some fun augmented reality (AR) filters that put your Bitmoji at the center of the show (if you are lost at this point you are not alone just read ahead)
When I initially drafted my first post titled Snapchat for the dummies, my aim was to make a quick starter guide for potential Snapchat users a year down the road. Allow me to quote myself on what I wrote back then, I said;
“Attention everyone born before 1986: It’s not you, it’s Snapchat. The app, now used daily by 100 million people and growing, requires the same great attention as inserting a micro-SIM card in a smartphone. The app has strange looking icons that look like ancient hieroglyphs, several confusing menus and the challenge is what to press next making the whole experience feel like some kind of puzzle. And before I forget, I should bring it to your attention that many of the messages on the service self-destruct after you look at them. Yes welcome to the Social Networks of the 2000s.”
Boy-oh-boy was I spot on, the app was very complex to use with a steep learning curve, but trust us Ugandans, given sometime we always chat up with the latest trends. It has however gone through several iterations and updates on its user interface and functionality to make it more usable. Snapchat recently admitted that it neglected Android users when developing the app which makes up over 90 percent of Ugandan smartphones users running the world’s most popular operating system. But, things are soon about to change and we hope for the better.
Upon opening the new Snapchat app, you’ll be met with the familiar screen of your camera’s viewfinder. However, the pages to the left and right of it have received a major overhaul. The new Snapchat UI should be rolling out soon if you don’t have it yet, and if you get confused, just remember – friends on the left, everything else on the right.
Uganda’s Snapchat queen
If there is one individual we can crown without hustle of the fastest growing Snapchat account, that would be Bad Black. Her profile shows all the juicy details that Ugandans love. With the never ending jokes, sexual innuendos, live showcase of her latest beauty surgery, flamboyant partying lifestyle, the never ending crash on American actor Brad Pitt, throwing shade to fellow socialites, the list is endless — all we can say Bad Black has it all. With over 4,000 daily active viewers on a normal day, the this former Luzira inmate controls a huge snap following. Most Ugandan celebs on Snapchat will kill for such numbers.
We also have Ugandans On Snapchat running on the @code256-ug handle. This is basically platform for Ugandans all over the world where one can interact with the public. For 24 hours, a different person takes over the account for 24 hours, people ask them all sorts of questions which they answer, well it a great way to burn through those SWIFT MBs. Snapchat Channels (accounts) such as code256 also enjoy a huge following. It is clear that the default camera is changing on smartphones and slowly but surely user behavior among most millennials is changing as well.