Rob: Do you feel like the set of people who you’re friends with and the set of people who you Snapchat with are totally overlapping?
Rob’s Brother: In most cases, no. Mostly because I have a lot of friends who either aren’t on Snapchat or don’t really do a lot on Snapchat, so I don’t think so, no. Most of my friends I don’t overlap with.
Rob: Do you have Snapchat friends?
Rob’s Brother: Friends who I’m friends with on Snapchat but not friends with in real life, is that your definition?
Rob: Friends who you’re better friends with on Snapchat than you are in real life. Here’s a parable: I definitely had AIM friends. Do you know what AIM is?
Rob’s Brother: Did you have MySpace friends?
Rob: No, I didn’t have a Myspace. Although Myspace is an interesting parallel here because, do you know about the top-eight friends?
Rob’s Brother: No, I have no idea how Myspace worked.
Rob: So, on Myspace, you had a couple hundred friends, but only your top eight friends displayed, and—this was slightly before my time—but there was a lot of status-seeking in which eight friends you displayed and what it meant. You might have someone in your top friends, but did they have you in their top eight friends? People got knocked out.
Rob’s Brother: Oh. There isn’t much of that on Snapchat, because A, you can have as many friends as you want, and B, you can make someone your best friend by just snapping them a lot.
Rob: Do you get Snaps from people that are like, let’s have a streak?
Rob’s Brother: I don’t get them that much. I think other people do.
Rob: “Hey, you, let’s have a streak.” That’s what they say?
Rob’s Brother: Yeah—I don’t get them that much, but that may be because I don’t have a poppin’ Snapchat.
Rob: Do people talk about other people’s Snapchat?
Rob’s Brother: I think other people talk about a conversation they had with somebody, usually in response to an “anyone up?” post, but only with their friends. There’s not a huge amount of talking about Snapchat. There’s more talk about Instagram than Snapchat.
Rob: Okay, so this is a good transition to Instagram.
Rob’s Brother: [sarcastic transition background music]
Rob: Do you find people still Instagram? I notice you seem to be Instagramming less.
Rob’s Brother: I just think that—and this just goes for boys my age—
Rob: Whoa. Gender-specific.
Rob’s Brother: When you first get Instagram, you Instagram stuff a lot.
Rob: Gotta build up that archive.
Rob’s Brother: Yeah, exactly. You think, I can share this with whoever I want, I want to share it with my friends. Especially because I didn’t have a Snapchat when I got Instagram, so I wanted to show a lot of trivial stuff. Now I would put most of that on Snapchat.
Rob: That’s such a good testament to the way that those two platforms work, definitely also for adults. Instagram at this point is just pretty pictures and occasional life events that I want to advertise. And Snapchat is, like, here’s a thing that’s funny, and here’s a joke about it. Or, I’m bored, and here’s my face that looks like a dog.