It’s the weekend at Ohio University and students start to document their selfies and video snippets throughout the night. They ship off these play-by-plays to their snapchat followers — even to accounts run by strangers. Ohiousnap is an account in which snapchatters can send pictures and videos to the account and anyone who is friends with OU Snapchat.
Many of the pictures and video that are sent to ohiousnap is downloaded onto the account’s Snapchat story for all of its followers to view.
Mike Warning is the owner and operator of the Snapchat account, ohiousnap, and manages it all from his phone.
Warning, a sophomore studying integrated media, said his Snapchat account has about 8,500 followers since its startup in October of 2014. He also runs the OhioUSnap Twitter account which has about 1,100 followers.
Court Street Stories got the chance to sit down with Warning who shared his experience on running the account.
CS: How did you get the idea to start a Snapchat account?
MW: It was kind of by accident. Last year back when Yik Yak was a really big thing, I was bored as hell one day, and I wondered what would happen if I put my Snapchat up (on Yik Yak). Being the cautious person that I am, I didn’t want to put my actual account on there and get creeps. So I created a Snapchat. I think for the first three or four weeks I actually went through and found other people’s snapchats on Yik Yak, save them, steal photos from their stories and put them on my own (story) until at Halloween where it just blew up.
— OhioUSnap (@OhioUSnap) October 25, 2014
CS: How many snapchats do you get a day?
MW: Halloween last year was only when I had 1,500 subscribers, but I literally did not put down my phone because of how many people were sending snaps in their costumes. On a regular day, I usually don’t have it up the entire time, but I usually get between 600 seconds of footage. Not all of that goes up of course, but that’s usually what I get.
CS: Why do you think people want their personal pictures and videos to go to a stranger like you?
MW: When people think OU snap, they’re not thinking me. They think it’s just a story, not the guy on the other side. Otherwise, I think it’s because we live in the experiencial culture. Everything’s all about travelling and wanting to do all of these different things. But because of the Internet, we can live vicariously. I feel like people enjoy watching and enjoy sending their stuff in because they feel like other people will enjoy seeing it. People watch because they want to do the same stuff they’re doing.
CS: How do you control which content you put up and don’t put up?
MW: It’s a really long process. I have to go through each one and select the ones I like, download them and then go back through and re-upload them through my story. There’s a program that I use that helps me do all of that.
CS: Do you designate certain times to do that during the day?
MW: I usually set aside three or four different chunks of my day to sit down for 20 to 30 minutes and upload stuff. I actually have a partner that also helps me, so that’s nice.
CS: Are there any snapchats you’ve come across that have stuck out?
MW: There’s this video of this guy yelling, ‘I got a question. Why do they call it speed bumps when we gotta slow down?’ That was last year and I found that hilarious. This year I went to my friend’s dorm and I go across the hall and I see this guy, and I swear that’s him. It turned out to be him and now we’re like pretty good friends.
CS: Has this ruined the experience of Snapchat for you?
MW: Yes. I don’t get to use my own Snapchat a lot, so that always kind of sucks. It kind of does get annoying when I forget to logout one day, and I have 45 different snapchats that I have to go through. It’s nuts, but it’s what the people like and all the other accounts are going through the same thing. It’s something you got to do.
CS: How long do think you’ll do this?
MW: We’ve had a little bit of competition with the Ohio Campus story. As of now, I don’t see any problem in continuing. It started off as a hobby. It continues to be a hobby. But we’re actually trying to work on different advertisements and stuff for school groups and local businesses and stuff. So I don’t see why I wouldn’t keep it up with the next four years.