Snapchat, Ephemerality, and Loss

Most social media platforms are persistent in nature, enabling users to revisit content at their discretion. Platforms with design features that support ephemeral communications, such as Snapchat, have become increasingly popular. During the course of our empirical study, we interviewed 15 Snapchat users about their experiences and practices. Our data reveal that Snapchat users experienced different types of loss, including media, meaning, and context loss, and developed workarounds to deal with those losses, including preemptive action and collaborative saving practices. Our findings revealed a conflict between the user’s expectation of the affordance the ephemeral platforms would provide, and the actions user’s followed.


  1. Media, Meaning, and Context Loss in Ephemeral Communication Platforms Cavalcanti, Luiz Henrique C.B. and Pinto, Alita and Brubaker, Jed R. and Dombrowski, Lynn S.
    Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing - CSCW ’17