Mizzou may soon have its own Snapchat feed thanks to the efforts of Garrett Romines, a senator on the student affairs committee of Missouri Students Association (MSA).
Snapchat, a popular social media site, recently added new features that include a “discover” section with daily updates from news and entertainment sources such as National Geographic, CNN, and People. Snapchat continuously updates for holidays, celebrations, and big social gatherings on their 24-hour feed, so that people can share their experiences globally. Certain college football games have even been broadcast.
Romines attended a football game at Texas A&M University and discovered that the school had a specific “Our Campus” story feed. This is how he got the idea of a Snapchat feed solely for Mizzou students that would help promote the school and engage the student body.
Ryan Gavin, the social media manager for the University of Missouri, has dealt with the introduction of new kinds of social media since the dawn of Facebook. Gavin graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and eventually started working for the university.
Nine months after he started, Mizzou decided to introduce Facebook and Twitter. One of the first goals, besides making a page with more followers than Kansas, was to build relationships among the University of Missouri community.
Garrett Romines is convinced the feed will, “bring the school closer together” and promote not only events, but also the diversity among the students and staff at the University of Missouri. “You’ll be able to see ways to get involved,” Romines said. He believes that a sense of cohesiveness will develop with the Columbia community with the help of another form of social media.
According to Gavin, the University of Missouri is very deliberate when getting involved with new forms of communication.
“A lot of social media is taking risks because nothing is set in stone,” Gavin said.
The University of Missouri has been hesitant at first to involve itself with Snapchat because it takes a while to see how certain platforms of communication will take off. The social media team, “initially didn’t dive in because it was a one-to-one app,” Gavin explained.
At this point, Romines hopes to begin the process with Snapchat by creating University of Missouri geofilters. These are stickers or filters that Snapchat will let you add to an image taken within a defined geographical area.
“There’s no campus like Mizzou,” Romines said with pride. “The columns are the most recognizable college structure.”
Other possible subjects for the geofilters include Memorial Union, the football stadium, or a simple “M-I-Z” logo. He also hopes the geofilters will be art created and submitted by students at the University.
Gavin mentioned that with a platform like Snapchat it would be neat if certain events could be broadcast such as a new class walking through the columns at Tiger Walk or team warm ups before a big sporting event.
In order to get this project running, Romines needs to get the support of MSA President Payton Head who could then share the idea with Chancellor Loftin for his approval. The next step is to contact the Snapchat team with a proposal asking to be a beta tester and for permission to get geofilters. Eventually, the project may even fall into the hands of social media manager, Ryan Gavin himself.
Romines doesn’t have many doubts about Snapchat’s potential interest in the University of Missouri because the school has so many landmarks, well known programs, and is in the SEC. Snapchat is also eager to “adapt to the generation,” according to Romines. Appealing to a college audience would be beneficial for Snapchat and the University.
Gavin believes that the contribution of other people’s perspectives authenticates social media. Relationships are built when, “people know their voices and experiences are felt and shared,” he said. As the Internet and social media becomes an ever-present aspect in day-to-day life, it is important to utilize these platforms to their full capability.