How to be Snapchat fa­mous

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Do you live for Snapchat? Or did you down­load the app months ago, send a wonky selfie cap­tioned “How does this work??!!” to a clue­less friend and promptly for­get all about it? If it’s the lat­ter, let’s face it, you’re old. Snapchat has about 178 mil­lion daily users world­wide, the ma­jor­ity aged un­der 34.

But the re­cent an­nounce­ment that top cre­ators will be paid for con­tent could be a gamechanger. While de­tails haven’t been an­nounced, users could be in­cen­tivised to cre­ate con­tent in a sim­i­lar way to Youtu­bers, who can make videos in ex­change for ad rev­enue. Take 28-year-old Cyrene Quiamco from Arkansas, who left her job as a web de­signer two years ago to con­cen­trate on Snapchat full-time, where she has 200,000 fol­low­ers. She al­ready makes $500,000 (£380,000) a year from spon­sored snaps, speak­ing en­gage­ments and con­sult­ing, and has writ­ten a book on be­com­ing a so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer, 11 Sec­onds to Suc­cess.

Want to live the dream? Here’s her ad­vice.

Un­der­stand the medium Ac­cord­ing to Quiamco (Cyreneq on the app), Snapchat isn’t a form of so­cial me­dia, it is so­cial me­dia. “I have the op­tion to chat pri­vately, to ‘tweet’ and post pic­tures, to con­sume news like Face­book and to fol­low in­flu­encers like on Youtube. Don’t use Snapchat like other so­cial me­dia be­cause it’s not – it’s so much more,” she coun­sels.

Use nar­ra­tive

Snapchat can be ho­mo­ge­neous. So while oth­ers are “snap­ping ran­dom self­ies with flow­ers and dog ears”, tell a story. “Have a be­gin­ning, mid­dle and end. Greet your au­di­ence, talk to them through­out the day and say good­bye at the end. This gives your story a struc­ture, which peo­ple sub­con­sciously like,” says Quiamco.

Get cre­ative

Many Snapchat stars use the draw­ing tool – see Au­drey Spencer, AKA Cakes1todough1, the “cat lady of Snapchat” who draws “hi­lar­i­ous scenes” on top of cat pic­tures, sug­gests Quiamco. Other no­table users in­clude Mi­olo­gie, who mixes art his­tory and hu­mour, and de­signer Geeohsnap, whose Ran­dom Peo­ple Project merges pho­to­graphs of or­di­nary sit­u­a­tions with imag­i­na­tive draw­ings.

In­ter­act

“You have the chance to cre­ate an ac­tive au­di­ence, in­stead of pas­sive watch­ers,” says Quiamco, who cre­ates games and com­pe­ti­tions, and asks fol­low­ers to help her make her art­work. Start with the “swipe up” fea­ture, which lets you add web­site links.

… and re­lax

The app’s dis­ap­pear­ing snaps do away with the “pres­sure of per­fec­tion”, says Quiamco. So let loose and be your­self. “Make con­tent that you like, be­cause if you like it, some­one else is bound to like it and your au­di­ence will grow,” she adds.

Fay Schopen

Hos­pi­tal cater­ing staff will be paid ex­tra af­ter be­ing left short­staffed when five of their col­leagues won the lot­tery. Cafe­te­ria work­ers at Neath Port Tal­bot hos­pi­tal will pocket an ad­di­tional £3 an hour to fill in rota gaps. Mean­while, mem­bers of the six-strong syn­di­cate who won around £4.3m each are plan­ning a trip to Las Ve­gas.

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