10 Snapchat Accounts to Follow

Looking to add a Snapchat account into your staff’s arsenal to engage readers this year? Wanting to find some people who are doing good storytelling there? Need some ammunition to convince your adviser this is a smart move (have them read this first “5 Reasons Journalism Educators Need to be on Snapchat“)?

If you’re looking to run your staff’s account this year, you’re likely going to have to look for inspiration beyond what your friends are doing on the medium. The accounts listed below are all a bit different. Some aren’t even journalism related. However, each is doing something well from storytelling to using the medium creatively that you should check out as you’re working to set your staff’s account personality.

      1. caseyneistat – Film director Casey Neistat is one of my favorite people to follow on Snapchat because he does a great job of telling a story each time he posts. He doesn’t just post random, disjointed clips, he makes sure to have a beginning, middle and end with each of his posts. While his work is great, he’s been off the medium a bit lately with the recent launch of his new app, Beme (if you are reading this and Beme still needs an invite code, let me know and I’ll get you one). Still, follow him on here and pay attention to how he tells stories — something staffs should be doing when using this medium.
      2. drakejmc – This is an account from Drake University, run by Drake students. They do some fun things with the account from time to time ranging from office and building tours to ugly selfie contests and emoji takeovers.
      3. fallontonight – What I like about this account is its simplicity. It’s the account for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. It is mostly used to highlight the upcoming guest for the night but they also do some things with ticket giveaways and viewer engagement as well.
      4. gma_abc – The Good Morning America account gives viewers a behind the scenes look at the show most mornings.
      5. newyorkermag – They do a great job of not just showing off recent work, but giving some background stories on the content. Whether it’s talking with a cartoonist or giving an in-depth look behind the most recent cover of the New Yorker, they do a nice job with the account and post frequently.
      6. nowthisnews – If you’re looking for a news account that really taps into the drawing capabilities of the medium, check out nowthisnews. Most days, they work to give a handful of news headlines in a great graphic display. The news is often the top headlines of the day, but they also mix it up with some off-beat stories from time to time.
      7. tacobell – One of the earliest brands to make a splash on Snapchat, Taco Bell has been there since 2013 and does a variety of things to creatively engage their target audience and share news. You can read a bit about their background with the medium here in a post on Mashable “Why Taco Bell Went Loco for Snapchat.
      8. thenytimes – I would be remiss if I didn’t include the New York Times on this list. While they are not the most active media account on Snapchat. They do have a presence. Typically, different journalists on assignment will take over the account to let views follow them along on assignment.
      9. therealverge – The account for theverge.com is another one you will want to check out. They do a nice job of telling stories and even having reappearing segments in their stories. They often have a music-themed story on Monday with one of the staffers who offers up what she’s listening to and they have a thing they do called Beef or Bust where they give quick takes on topics (kind of like Thumbs up/Thumbs Down or Hot/Not). In addition, they show off some cool tech stuff.
      10. This is a screenshot from one of the Washington Post's Snapchat stories during the Cherry Blossom Festival. They dipped into their archives and showed a series of photos through the decades. This is an idea high schools could easily morph and adopt with yearbook archives.
        This is a screenshot from one of the Washington Post’s Snapchat stories during the Cherry Blossom Festival. They dipped into their archives and showed a series of photos through the decades. This is an idea high schools could easily morph and adopt with yearbook archives.

        washingtonpost – This was the account that started it all for me. I had planned on staying off Snapchat but when I found out the Washington Post was there I decided I better give it a look. They’ve done a lot of great things with this account from posting stories where they dip back into their archives and show things like the Cherry Blossom Festival through the years to handing the account off to reporters who are out covering stories to give viewers their vantage point on assignment.

There are lots of other great accounts out there, this is just a sampling of a few who use it differently and effectively to give you a bigger picture of how the medium is being used. You can find me on Snapchat as well (aaronmanfull).

Who did I leave off the list above that you think is a must-follow? Would love to hear in the comments below.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 19th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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