Dude. Do you even Snapchat?

I can’t tell you the last time I left the house without my iPhone.

My grocery store is approximately 100 paces from my apartment, but you can guarantee that if you need to reach me in the dairy aisle, I’ll have my phone at my hip. It’s there for every commute, every Netflix marathon, every workout, my phone is one of my essentials. It’s there to document every moment of my life — and the lives of my friends and family.

And it is the home of my favorite social medium, Snapchat.

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Since Snapchat’s release in 2011, users have been sending photos, videos, drawings and the recently introduced “Stories” to a hand-selected audience. After turning down a $3 billion acquisition from Facebook, Snapchat has never been cooler. Capture an image and add it to your “Story” but not before adding a caption, photo filter, your geographic location, the current temperature, and of course an illustration done by index finger.

Sending something more personal? Select your receivers individually. You know who else is on Snapchat? EVERYONE.

In August of 2014, Snapchat reportedly had 100 million active users sending 400 million snaps per day. Hey advertisers, guess what! 71% of those users are under the age of 25. What’s different about Snapchat versus Instagram, Facebook and other photo sharing communities? Expiration.

Individuals and brands can send short-form messages that a user can see for a maximum of 24 hours. #GoldMine? Last month, Snapchat featured live-stream, user generated content at events like New York City Fashion Week, iHeart Radio Music Festival, College Game Day (a weekly feature) and most recently the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Brands have joined the conversation as well. Vogue Magazine, McDonalds (see below), General Electric and The NBA are just a few adding the photo sharing app to their social media regimes.

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According to a recent Mashable study:

“Almost half of college-age Snapchat users said they would open a Snap from a brand they’d never heard of, and 73% said they would open one from a brand they did know. Close to 70% of students said they’d even add a brand as a friend if they also followed them on a separate social network like Facebook or Twitter.”

So, why join Snapchat? It doesn’t get any more local than in the hand of a customer. Whether it’s a traditional “what we’re up to” photo, or a story with a beginning, middle and end, Snapchat starts (and ends) a conversation with consumers in their back (or front) pocket.