Locals have become improvised reporters and the smartphone is the newspaper.
This week Snapchat, a photo and video messaging smartphone app, took over both Tel Aviv and the West Bank.
For those not familiar with Snapchat, the application allows users to send photos and videos via the Internet that are automatically deleted approximately 15 seconds after being opened by the recipients. When Snapchat became popular for the wrong reasons (we can easily imagine millions of teenagers interpreting the purpose of the app as being a “safe” sexting tool), a new feature was introduced: Snapchat Live. Every day users from a selected place can show the entire world the wonders of their city and lifestyle through a short, amateur documentary composed entirely of homemade videos.
We’ve seen the people of Riyadh swimming with lions, the Vancouver skyline and live footage from the most recent MET Gala in New York.
On July 7, the app took over Israel. At first, the takeover sparked a series of hateful tweets and comments by angered Snapchat users who asked, “Are you going to show what’s on the other side of the wall?” No answer came from Snapchat headquarters in the Silicon Valley. One day later, however, the West Bank was announced to be live on the video messaging app.
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