A study by the University of Michigan has found that users of photo sharing and sexting platform Snapchat are happier than people who use Facebook.
The study assessed how 154 students feel about using social media throughout the day, with questions like “How pleasant or unpleasant was your most recent interaction?” and “How close are you to that person?”
“On the surface, many people view Snapchat as the ‘sexting app,’” Joseph Bayer, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “But instead, we found that Snapchat is typically being used to communicate spontaneously with close friends in a new and often more enjoyable way.
“At the same time, Snapchat interactions were perceived as having less social support than other social media. These findings open up important questions about the benefits and costs of different social media.”
In addition, participants reported focusing more attention on Snapchat messages than archived content on platforms like Facebook, which may contribute to the increased emotional reward.
Bayer said one surprising finding that emerged in follow-up interviews was that participants viewed Snapchat as similar to face-to-face conversations because they were mundane, not recorded and typically occurred with close relationships.
“Since Facebook has become a space for sharing crafted big moments such as babies, graduations and birthdays, Snapchat seems to provide users with a distinct space for sharing the small moments,” said Bayer.