Snapchat Takes on Austin City Limits (ACL)

Michelle Wesley @RuckStarC

For two weekends in October, Austin, Texas, is taken over by the thousands of music fans who flock to city for the annual ACL Festival. Snapchat’s new “Our Story” feature allowed those of us who couldn’t make the show, refused to even attempt to navigate the crowds, or (like me) refused to pay more than $20 for a concert ticket to keep up with the events. The brilliance of the Snapchat O.S. experience was also it’s biggest downfall. The app is run on the premise that while the cell towers will undoubtedly be overloaded with duck-face selfies, Facebook check ins, and Twitter posts, their system would work through it all as long as Wi-Fi was readily available.

Pretty fantastic right? Being able to be a part of the festival without being at the venue. Personally, I love the idea. I would much rather see personal pictures from friends in the pit than pictures through the lens of some professional music business photographers. The O.S. feature was designed to allow us to see what was going on without having to be there. But what happened when the cell towers slowed to a snail’s pace? Festival goers did the only logical thing: connect to Wi-Fi. News from the ground is that Wi-Fi connectivity was hit or miss during the festival resulting in a lot of pic sharing frustration and even more next day posts.

Though Our Story is a new feature, launching officially August 29, the uses for it could go beyond just music festivals and enter avenues that other photo sharing apps just can’t touch. If the Wi-Fi issue can be resolved (maybe Snapchat could provide their own network at large events like ACL), the future of the application is a bright one, and I for one can’t wait to use it. Maybe during a rugby match . . . who knows.