Summary of Article: Who/What is the article about? What is happening? When did it happen? Where is did it happen? Why is it happening?
The author describes a Snapchat clone, Snow, designed and rolled in South Korea. Like Snapchat, the smartphone application offers numerous options for making funny photos adding filters such as glowing eyes, dog ears, and tongues, bulbous foreheads, etc. However, unlike the social network originally launched in the USA, it includes Asia-specific filters such as a rain of sushi or fried chicken, images of sumo wrestlers and Korean pop stars, bottles of soju and Korean liquor.
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Snow was introduced in September. As for now, more than 30 million users downloaded it. There are several reasons leading to its growing popularity. First of all, Snapchat is not available in one of the region’s leading Internet markets – China.
That is why Chinese people enjoy using the analog. Second, Snow is Asia-specific, so it is psychologically acceptable. Moreover, it offers an opportunity to send short videos. In addition to it, the app is popular among showbiz starts. That is why ordinary people started downloading it. Finally, Snapchat did not overcome the language barrier because it does not have Asian offices and local-language versions are still being developed while Snow does not face this problem since it was designed in Asia and focused on the Asian market.
Author’s Position: What is the author’s take on this current event issue?
The author’s take on Snow can be seen in the first sentence of the article – the images and messages are self-destructing. However, the primary focus is made on the start-up market and the idea that there is no guarantee of going global and monopolistic without taking into consideration local peculiarities as well as there is always a threat of introducing similar products, which can become a greater success due to the size of regional markets. Moreover, Snow’s success can serve as an example for Asian start-ups proving that breaking out of home markets is not always the best option for development.
Relate to Class Material: How does this topic relate to this week’s class material?
The article describing the success of Snow is closely related to this week’s class material. First of all, it highlights the impact of social networks on our lives and the stereotypes it imposes. One of the reasons for the Snow’s growing popularity was the fact that showbiz stars used it. So, it reflects the belief that following a particular lifestyle (using some mobile apps in this case) is acceptable and creates an image of popularity and coolness.
Furthermore, it points to the link between technology and the economy as well as innovation and marketing. Snow has become popular because it is focused on the Asian market and, in fact, it introduced Asia-specific features earlier than Snapchat managed to develop them and offer local-language versions of the app. It means that economic success in the sector of innovations is determined by the speedy and decisive actions aimed at filling specific market niches. Finally, the topic reflects the role of regulations in technology and the economy. Because Snapchat is censored in China, Snow has got an opportunity to grow popular and fill this gap. Because people cannot use Snapchat, they will definitely download and enjoy Snow.
- How social-network affect our life;
- Innovation and marketing;
- How should we use social network;
- The relationship between technology and the economy.