Ina Dillard Russell Library Leaves Its Mark On Snapchat

As the youngest member of the Special Collections group here at the Ina Dillard Russell Library I tend to live more in the social media aspect of the world where feeling connected to the world and others is aided by the internet and WiFi. I may not be able to work a fax machine or figure out the correct amount to tip for a service but I can easily explain the inner workings of apps like Snapchat, Twitter and how to create your own personalized emoji on Bitmoji because who doesn’t need to add a little life and sass to texts, snaps, tweets, etc. As the world keeps steadily moving into the new era of technology the familiar ways are becoming obsolete and new inventions are replacing them. In high-school I traded my paper and pen for a stylus and tablet. I went to a high-school where everyone used Lenovo tablets and notes and activities were available online so they could even be accessed through a smartphone. Even now, in college, preparing and studying for classes would seem impossible to me without the aid of my laptop and phone that are only a finger touch away from answering all my questions. One of the most used apps by many people my age is Snapchat. We may have been the first to completely utilize the app, however, use of this app is rapidly expanding to all age groups. So, naturally I questioned why the library had not yet established itself on the social media map and made an appearance on Snapchat?

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an app available for free on your phone that at its core is an application which allows people to share moments of their life with a chosen audience. People can share pictures, videos, and even text in a visual format that has an up-to 10 second duration but can be seen an unlimited amount of times within 24 hours of it being posted before it disappears. Not to worry though, the content a person posts doesn’t have to disappear forever. Even within the app it allows you to download your videos and pictures directly to your camera roll before and after you post it onto your “story” or before you send it off to an individual person.

Now within Snapchat there are ways to customize your pictures and videos with the use of filters and geofilters. A filter is an effect that can be put on before or after the picture or video is taken and a geofilter simply shares your location. The geotfilter isn’t like a map location but is more of an artistic way to show a specific place you may be. Geofilters are a great way to bring awareness to an area or an event and because of their aesthetic nature they are often used.

Who Can Create a Geofilter?

Anyone can create a geofilter also called a geotag. Artists, students, companies, and even grandmothers can create a geofilter and submit it to Snapchat online for their review. Upon review Snapchat can either approve or decline the filter. Of course, there are guidelines on their website that stand as a rubric of sorts. The most important part though is that there are two different platforms through which people can submit their work. The Community Filter and the On-Demand filter. The Community filter is open to the public and is free and the On-Demand filter which is not free can be used by businesses and also people who want to advertise an event such as a wedding or birthday.

Creating a geofilter for the Ina Dillard Russell Library was first a thought and then a reality with the help of Evan Leavitt our Facilities Coordinator in the library who formatted and designed the filter that is now live. Numerous ideas have been passed around and the creation of more filters is still a work in progress but below is the filter that has been approved by snapchat and has been live for a few days now.

Ina Dillard Russell Library’s first geofilter on Snapchat.


Since I submitted this geofilter I can log in to my account online and Snapchat provides a simple statistical view of the “uses” and “views” of the geofilter. Based on the clippings below it is obvious that the number of uses generate a massive amount of views because each person has at minimum a handful of people viewing their one post. I’m hoping to see an exponential growth within the first few weeks at least in the views and hopefully in the uses as well.

Stats taken from 11 a.m. 1/24/17
Stats taken from 12:00 p.m. 1/26/17


Stats taken from 1:00 p.m. 1/31/17

Filter Uses For The Future

As I said before the Community filter submission is free and these filters are usually made and submitted by people to bring awareness to a monument or place that they deem as having value. Once you move away from the Community filters, however, and look at what the On-Demand filters have to offer your options expand a little. On-Demand filters allow you to advertise for any event you want. This can be applicable to a college because now filters can be set for certain dates, they can have logos, and they can contain information specific text. This freedom does come with a price, literally, but after taking into consideration the audience it will reach and how it can bring consciousness to the campus some may see its merit.

In the meantime, to see what other filters the Ina Dillard Russell Library has in store for the future take a picture through Snapchat on campus near the library, swipe left to discover the library’s newest edition, and watch as we leave our mark on the digital world!


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