This is a pretty cool article about Snapchat at the US vs. Mexico friendly this past weekend. I personally forgot the friendly was even taking place—until I checked my Snapchat in the middle of the afternoon and found a “Live Story” of the game. The Live Story allowed people attending the game to submit a Snapchat (a 10-second-or-less video or picture) to potentially be a part of an approximately 300-second-long video/photo stream of the event, able to be viewed around the world. In the past, there have also been Live Stories of the NCAA Final Four, the Daytona 500, and the Superbowl.
The reason soccer made it to the forefront of one of the most widely-used social media platforms? Jill Hazelberger, Snapchat’s VP of Communications, said it was because of “increased interest in the sport over the past decade” in the United States. She also mentioned partnering with Univision to launch the Live Story because “no one can match Univision’s reach into Spanish-speaking America,” and that the friendly’s coverage was Snapchat’s first clear attempt to do so.
Whatever Hazelberger and Snapchat’s aims, for me, it was a pleasure to witness the game through the eyes (or smartphones) of those in attendance. I often take a look at the Live Stories just for fun or when I’m bored, whether they display a sporting event or a peek into a big city (Dubai was a cool one this past week)—but, as Hazelburger suggested, and as we’ve been learning all semester, the appeal of soccer is “increasing” and even more so widespread around the world than mostly any other event a Snapchat Live Story could cover. From the tailgates, to the U.S.’s two goals, to the cheering and jabs between the U.S. and Mexico fans in the crowds, the Live Story was an amazing sight to see, and made me feel as though I was right there in the action. If Hazelburger’s implication proves to be correct, this won’t be the last Live Story surrounding a soccer event (actually, when I was in Madrid, there was a Live Story for Real Madrid-Barcelona!). It’ll also provide a chance for soccer, on such a popular and widely used platform, to not only reach Spanish-speaking America, but to also reach many other Americans who are just looking at their phones in the middle of the day.