Snapchat Trap

Why Gen-Zs Will Not Break Free from the Snapchat Trap!



332 million. Yes, that’s the number of users that Snapchat sees on its platform daily. You read that right, daily. Every day.

Snapchat has become one of the most used social media applications on the internet.  It was first launched in 2011, and since then has garnered millions of loyal users. The social media platform is a beloved application for people belonging to different generations.

But the app is mostly popular amongst Gen-Zs. Who are Gen-Zs you may ask? Generation Z or Gen-Zs as the internet calls them those born between the mid-to-late 1900s and early 2010s.

This article is a deep dive into all the reasons why Gen-Zs are most definitely not going to break free from Snapchat’s trap.

The following sections will dive into the reasons why we think the people in Generation Z will not be able to break free from the ‘trap’ of Snapchat!

Role Of Social Network Dynamics in This Obsession!

Role Of Social Network Dynamics in This Obsession!

This generation has seen the greatest number of social media platforms being released. From Twitter (now X) to Snapchat and Threads, part of the reason why this generation is obsessed with social media! Now with the Snapchat spectacles, it is more exciting!

Even though this isn’t a primary reason people believe this generation is running after having a social life, this does make a strong point. The generation is seen to have a lot to share, and there are many aspects to their obsession with social media at large.

Believe it or not, surfing through the net has literally become a thing of the past a people are now actively using their time and device to scroll through social media. Especially engaging platforms such as Snapchat. Part of the reason why Snapchat rose to fame amongst young users since its launch was owing to its uniqueness.

Snapchat is still a social media app that influences other platforms to introduce similar features. In several ways, Snapchat is one of those apps that has paved the way for other platforms to find ways to keep their audience interested.

Snapchat has shown since its launch that it has one of the strongest, most creative teams. They take careful, calculated measures to keep their target audience and users at large engaged.

Snapchat wants anything but to be just another social media app that has its audience tied to the platform. This is clear from the app’s efforts to reposition itself as a messaging service instead of a social media app.

The app has since been distancing itself from traditional social media behavior. We will dive into the various features that Snapchat has introduced for its users, but first, let’s have a look at its strategy to revamp itself.

Less Social Media, More Snapchat

Less Social Media, More Snapchat

Yes, this was one of the campaign lines that was grabbing eyeballs because Snapchat was now publicly and openly disregarding itself as a social media platform. Let’s face it, Snapchat, if you have seen its rise since its launch has been nothing close to the traditional social media apps that we see and use the daily.

Since its launch, it has always been about sending messages to the contacts you add to your account. You do have the option of keeping your account public or private, but if my memory serves me right, this feature has been on the platform only recently.

February 2024 was the debut of Snapchat’s latest campaign. This was to rebrand itself as a private messaging app. But the question arises, will it be successful? That can only be said with time because Snapchat was never really associated with a social media platform per see.

With its campaign, it also launched the web version which got us asking how to use Snapchat on PC.  

Why Does Gen-Z Find It So Worth Their Time?

Why Does Gen-Z Find It So Worth Their Time

Because people have been using it to send private pictographic messages to their contacts, it was never allowing the users to share those as other popular apps. So, I believe the attempt to rebrand itself as a private messaging app will be a success.

Coming back to how this allows Gen-Zs to be hooked to the app. The generation is all about living in the moment, there is hardly any care about the past or the fear of the future. The individuals in this generation have cracked the code to live peacefully.

This ties up the generation enjoying the idea of ephemeral content. This gives them a sense of privacy as well as an exclusivity that they can bank on. This helps Snapchat the most as they have understood how much this generation values its privacy and living in the moment.

Privacy: Something Gen-zs Hold Very Dear to Their Heart

Something Gen-zs Hold Very Dear to Their Heart

Privacy and maintaining that exclusive status is something that this generation upholds quite highly. Generation Z folks are all about in-the-moment connections that do not pressure on them. The generation is more about using apps that give them a positive sense of the environment.

Part of the reason is because they have been using social media platforms that keep their life under scrutiny. The new features of social media apps such as Facebook. Gave users little to no privacy due to the lack of a protective barrier that now exists.

This gives an upper hand to Snapchat as they have always been giving this exact privacy to its users. The Snapchat users have been promoting its business like no one else! Part of the reason why this app is so popular among this generation is because their promotion is done through word of mouth. Which, if you know, marketing, is one of the strongest strategies that helps businesses build trust.

The ephemeral feature of this app allows the users to enjoy casual, instant connections that get lost somewhere in other apps. Another one of the reasons why Snapchat is so popular among this generation is because of the disappearing messages.

This feature is helpful to keep that privacy, while also enjoying conversations that cannot let you stay in the seen-zone.

Another one of the ways Snapchat aligns with the values of Gen-Zs is through notifying the user immediately when someone takes a screenshot of their chat. This is helpful as you are aware of when your conversation is going to make a trip to the group chat.

Engagement Features That Are Not Letting Gen-Z Break Free

Engagement Features That Are Not Letting Gen-Z Break Free

It is one of the selling points of Snapchat! The first time I heard of the app was due to its feature of adding a unique caption line over an image. It is so normal for us nowadays, but it was one of the coolest things ever when it was launched!

Since then, I have to admit that I am one of those Gen-Zs that will not break free from the Snapchat trap! Unless of course, there is a better one in the market! Apart from this, Snapchat has since added several other features that make it stand out again and again. So much so that other social media platforms are using it to attract the audience as well. Let’s have a look at all the unique features of Snapchat that sets it apart:

Disappearing messages

Disappearing messages

One of the hallmark features of the ghost app, disappearing messages is what has been building the loyal fanbase of Snapchat. This one feature of this app allows the users to take advantage of disappearing messages that will vanish within 24 hours or immediately after viewing when you exit the chat.

This does not just include the texts that you send through the app, it also includes the videos and photos. All the media and the texts will disappear after viewing which allows you to share details without the stress of it being there with the person permanently.

This feature tops our list due to its alignment with Gen-Z’s desire for privacy and impermanence in their digital interactions. The feature is also one of the “selling points” of Snapchat as it rids them of the fear that their personal messages may be shared without consent.

 Lenses and filters

Lenses and filters

You might think that this feature does not really belong to the second position, but trust me when I say this, it’s worth it! One of the reasons why Snapchat is loved by people in this generation is because of the fun filters and lenses that they have. There are several creators who make pretty filters that can allow you to beautify whatever you are capturing.

Another of the features that inspired other social media apps to take a page out of Snapchat’s book. If you are a user of all the social media apps, you would agree when I say the other filters do not match Snapchat’s quality.

The app wins brownie points because of this feature as the user can express themselves using face-altering filters. Some of the influencers on other social media platforms are getting millions of views on videos created using Snapchat filters. If you are not well-versed with the concept, millions of views translate to a lot of opportunities and even money if it’s a brand deal!

Nowadays we also see a lot of creators on Snapchat as well who are banking on these lenses and filters to create content that just sets them apart.



The popularization of stories as a concept was by Snapchat. At the risk of repeating myself, the stories that other apps allow them to share. These stories can stay for 24 hours, after which they disappear. You can keep them forever with you, if you save them to your Snapchat Memories (another one of the unique features.)

This makes it easier for the user to share content frequently as they are short-lived. This again taps into the need for impermanence by individuals in this generation. The everyday moments that one shares are not there on the internet for a long time, so they do not have to put a lot of thought into it.

This also plays on their psychology as they can enjoy a sense of intimacy and immediacy with those added to their account.



This feature of Snapchat is great for catching up to speed with all that is going on in the world. This feature of Snapchat will seem familiar if you use other social media apps, some of which have recently added a similar feature.

This section of Snapchat can be accessed if you swipe left from the Camera screen. Right under the Stories, you will find the Discover section. This is where you will find engaging content such as a mix of news, lifestyle, and entertainment.

This feature is curated based on popular trends and news in the entertainment industry. The mobile-friendly format is another bonus feature that lets the user enjoy the app for a longer time.

This caters to the preference of this generation of bite-sized content that is also visually appealing.

Snap Map

Snap Map

This feature of Snapchat allows you to see the location of your friends on the map in real time, but only if they have shared their location. This may seem like a privacy concern but only if the contact has changed their settings to share it with their friends.

Another great way to use the app is through exploring the map. Yes! You can explore the map to check the content that other public profiles have shared. I have personally been able to look at half of Paris with this feature. Google Maps, who?

Moreover, you must use this feature with great care as you may invite creeps, on the flip side you may even foster great bonds with people around the world. This is similar to making a pen friend but replacing a letter with Snapchat. This also promotes social connections, facilitating meetings with people from around the world, and allowing you to see what your friends are doing in various locations.



One of the most exciting features of Snapchat, Bitmoji was literally the coolest thing that was introduced by them. This is also one of the several features that inspired other social media apps to introduce their version.

From personalizing your avatar to using fun stickers and animations, this one feature of Snapchat lets the users express themselves in the most unique way. This has to be hands down one of the coolest features that still has Gen-Z hooked to the app. There have been other versions of this Bitmoji in other apps, but NONE of them come even an inch close to what Bitmoji provides.

Bitmoji is an avatar creation app that was made popular by Snapchat and allows it to be integrated to the platform for communication. This comes in the list of things that makes Snapchat fun for Gen-Zs and why they cannot break free from the “Trap.”

The integration of Bitmoji in the app allows the users to stay connected with the app. Moreover, they associate it with the app which makes it more prominent in their memory. This is why Gen-Z cannot abandon it, the entire experience becomes personalized which gives them a sense of uniqueness which is a major factor for them.

Being different and standing out of the crowd is something that Gen-Z desires a lot. Which is exactly what Snapchat is providing them. A unique way for the users to communicate, express, and engage with the app and the other users.

The content that Snapchat offers allows users to enjoy the platform while fostering a sense of creativity and community.

The Influence of Peers Creating a Need to Be on Snapchat

The Influence of Peers Creating a Need to Be on Snapchat

It’s one of the reasons why Gen-Zs cannot break free from the huge loop that Snapchat has caught them in. Peers are an integral part of our lives. We spend most of our lives with them, and they influence how we see the world. They are also responsible for the habits we form, for the way we dress, eat, and even speak to those around us.

Psychologists have found through extensive research that people care about what others think about across different age groups. This is what makes them value different behaviors and ideas. Even if Snapchat isn’t great for them, it is hard for them to see it because their peers are using it without restriction. Especially teens are more prone to make decisions under the influence of their peers, something we know as peer pressure.

There is another reason why Gen-Zs are more likely to give in to peer pressure and keep using Snapchat for longer. Staying connected, using the app to maintain connection with their peers, and staying in the “loop” about their friend’s lives are all connected to Snapchat.

Gen-Zs use Snapchat as a private show into their lives, with only a selected few getting that peek, which makes it exciting for those selected few. The feeling of being special is one that Gen-Zs have in common which makes them want to do everything that their friends do.

This makes it quite difficult for them to free themselves from the Snapchat trap. There has to be a significant shift in the social dynamics for that to happen. The emergence of a new platform that offers similar features but with a twist is something that can help them break free. But the important question is, do they want to break free? The answer will unanimously be no.

How Else Is Snapchat Built Differently?

How Else Is Snapchat Built Differently

Snapchat is built differently in that it was made mobile-first and because it has always been an example for other social media platforms to launch their features, it has enjoyed the limelight. And I mean, a lot. It has since been aligning itself with the evolving trends in social technology

This is what has made it very difficult for Gen-Zs to break free from this technological trap, as they want to stay in touch with the trends. There’s a lot that influences their daily choices, and being out of the loop is something that is technological suicide for some.

This some constitutes of a large populace that enjoys being part of private circles. These circles are tight-knit groups that get the total update of each other’s lives, something that is not shared for public viewing.

This also comes from the vision that the company had for the platform initially. As per the Chief Creative Officer Colleen DeCourcy, who was brought out of her retirement to help fix Snap Inc.’s reputation among the users.

Streaks of FOMO

Streaks of FOMO

Another contributing factor for it is the Streak feature that gives them a certain FOMO if it ends. Nowadays with the new update of Snapchat, it now allows the user to restore Snaps. This makes the app even more exciting for the Gen-Z user. Moreover, with the new updates that were unveiled a while ago, the brand is elevating its image and storytelling.

With new features such as Snapchat Plus (subscription-based plan of the app), the app is promoting exclusivity within the community. Popular games that were free on the platform have been moved to the subscription which entices the users (mostly Gen-Zs) to buy a subscription and flex it.

The entire user experience is focused on the act of “showing off” to those who do not have the same experience. The Streaks as a feature are a big deal because of how it constantly keeps the user engaged to the platform.

Until the new feature of restoring the streaks was introduced, the users were in constant fear of losing month-long streaks in one go. It would be like missing a train or writing a wrong answer on an exam. That big a deal it was!

AR/AI in Snapchat

AI in Snapchat

The new update of Snapchat also brought with it Artificial Intelligence (AI) in chat. After February last year, users updating their apps were introduced to the AI chatbot who stays there in the chat screen like other friends. You can have conversations with it, ask it questions and even ask for advice. This feature is another one of the reasons why no one can dismiss this platform as a lucrative investment of one’s time.

The company has been building an ecosystem of AR experiences in the app, by hiring talent that has worked on HoloLens. This goes to show that AR is something that Snap Inc. is betting its money on.

Generative AI is a technology that Snapchat has been using in its platform to enhance the user experience. With generative AI, the platform is introducing features such as My AI, AI Lenses, AI snaps and Dreams.



This new feature of the platform allows the users to experience generative AI in a social media app. This feature creates AI portraits that have a touch of AI in them. Moreover, when you download these AI-generated portraits you also see the Snapchat watermark, giving proof of its transparency.

This shows the constant innovation Snapchat undergoes to keep being popular amongst the current generation. These and the other features it added since its update has been keeping the users coming back for more.

Discontinued Features That Were Once Adding to The Hype of Snapchat: Snap Inc. Are You Listening?

Discontinued Features That Were Once Adding to The Hype of Snapchat

When Snapchat Minis was a feature present on the app, it was surely one of the most-used features apart from the filters. The feature, even though short-lived, was a fun, bite-sized third-party program that kept us engaged.

These users enjoyed access to apps such as Headspace Mini, Prediction Master, Let’s Do It, and Flashcards that were creating unique experiences. Similar to Snap Games, Snap Minis was present in the Snapchat’s Chat interface and ran on the same principles as the former.

Unfortunately, Snap Games are also no longer available to the user, no matter if they are a Snapchat Plus user. This is a bummer as the games were responsible for making the experience even more fun and interactive.

Snapchat Plus: Revolutionizing Social Media Platform Usage with Premium Subscription

Revolutionizing Social Media Platform Usage with Premium Subscription

Snapchat Plus (Snapchat+) is the premium experience of the messaging app that provides its subscribers with exclusive features. This is another feature that gives the user a deeper dive into the parts of the app that you use the most.

In addition, the subscriber gets access to new features before the authorities make it available to the normal crowd.

Some of the exciting features that play into the feeling of Fear of Missing Out or FOMO. With this new subscription feature, Gen-Z’s FOMO is at an all-time high, pushing them to use the app even more. This is because they don’t want to miss out on the features that their peers may be enjoying and clearly rubbing it on their faces in a subtle way.

This ties it to peer pressure playing a key role in increasing the usage of Snapchat and why we see the app as a trap holding Gen-Zs victims? Some of the features that allure Gen-Zs to increase their usage:

  • Story rewatch indicator
  • Custom app icon with new icons presents
  • Custom app themes
  • Solar system
  • Capturing color
  • Chat wallpapers
  • Map appearance
  • Story boost
  • Gift snapchat+
  • Free dreams
  • AI captions
  • Snapstreak reminders
  • Snapscore multiplier
  • Tiny Snaps

These are just some of the features that a subscriber enjoys with the moderately priced feature. The pricing varies depending on the country so for some individuals it may seem as if the cost is too much.

Snap Creator: Getting The Snap Star

Snap Creator Getting The Snap Star

A creator feature that works very well to attract the users is the opportunity to become a creator on Snapchat and enjoy the attention. With the boom of influencers and vlogger as full-time professions, it has become normal for individuals to pursue full-time content creation as a job.

With the ease of creating a public profile, anyone can become a content creator with the right mix of talent and creativity. This way you are creating a public account that comes under the ‘Creator’ tag.

This is an attractive feature for Gen-Zs who want to pursue this as a career as they have seen their favorite creators or influencers using the platform for their content. The raw passion to become something they watch every day fuels their use of the platform for most of their day.

The impact on influencers is also something that we need to take into consideration when thinking of the Gen-Zs’ massive usage.

The feature of getting a Snap Star is similar to the verification badge that Twitter (Now X) and Instagram provide.

Future Of Social Media & Snapchat’s Relevance

With all of these technological advancements, there is a high chance that Snapchat will keep staying relevant, dominating the entire social media scene. Moreover, with the innovative ways the platform keeps the users engaged, it is most likely to continue having millions of users that may even increase to billions.

The manner in which Snapchat has managed to keep its hold in the social media market, it is highly likely that the platform will continue holding sway over the Gen-Zs. Moreover, with the Gen-Zs being careful about their privacy, the developers save the day. They are prioritizing a design that is privacy-centric and one which aligns with data privacy.

In addition, Snapchat’s focuses on keeping the users safe with features such as notifying when someone takes a screenshot or saves something in chat. Moreover, the feature of disappearing messages after you view them gives online security, while also playing on the exclusivity aspect of Gen-Zs desires.


All in all, I think it’s safe to say Snapchat will rule the lives of Gen-Zs for a long time. It is also highly unlikely that Gen-Zs will break free from the Snapchat trap. If you are a millennial it makes you concerned, you can just join them and have a better understanding of why this platform is causing such as ruckus! If you are a millennial parent concerned about the privacy and security of your child, join them in exploring the app so that you have access.

Access their reasoning of why they use this app and how you can make sure they’re safe on the internet. It is after all brutal out there! Let us know in the comments below if you would like to explore the psychology behind the usage of another popular social media app! We’d be happy to uncover it all for you.

author image

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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