Snapchat, the smartphone-based social media platform that allows users to send images and short videos that disappear after viewing, is often dismissed as existing mainly to propagate embarrassing selfies, juvenile stunts, and well, less-than-fully-clothed pictures. But it’s getting an infusion of high culture thanks to some enterprising museums eager to reach a younger demographic in their natural habitat.
Last week, Hyperallergic reported that the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) was the first museum to adopt the app, using it to showcase their collection with the addition of slang-infused captions referencing Internet memes and other pop culture touchstones sure to hit home with the under-30 crowd.
Since LACMA joined Snapchat, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, the Georgia Museum of Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago have quickly embraced the platform, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art reached out to clarify that it has in fact been present on Snapchat since last year, but used it infrequently (we have a feeling SFMOMA’s account is about to spring back to life).
LACMA’s social media manager, Maritza Yoes, told Hyperallergic: “Not only is Snapchat a great way to reach a younger audience, but it also provides us with a platform for play—a place where we can create stories and experiences around the museum, our collection, and our staff…We both send and receive Snapchats, and in doing so connect with our audience in a way that they can relate to.”
If the snaps they’ve released thus far are any indication (screen grabs can be taken as a way to preserve and pass along the otherwise fast-disappearing content), museums may be our new favorite Snapchat friends.
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