Campus Story

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

After an initial test launch in October, the “Our Campus Story” feature on Snapchat has returned to the UT campus.

The feature allows students to post photos or videos on a regular feed that can be viewed by other users on or around campus for up to 24 hours. Snapchat originally announced that the launch of the feature at the University was temporary and would be brought back eventually.

“We’re going to visit a few other schools but hope to be back,” Snapchat said in an October email. “We hope you loved it.”

Along with UT, the feature was also available at the University of Southern California, Pennsylvania State University and the University of California-Los Angeles campuses since its launch in October. Mike Horn, UT’s director of digital strategy, said he didn’t quite understand why it had been taken down in the first place.  

“All I can assume is that they are testing the service out like it’s a beta program, and so we should expect it to be inconsistent,” Horn said.

Along with bringing back the feature at the test campuses this past week, Snapchat also expanded the feature to three more campuses: the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Texas A&M University.

“We can’t wait to roll out Our Campus Story to more schools across the world,” Snapchat said in a statement.

Madalynn Kainer, Texas A&M agricultural communications and journalism sophomore, said she enjoys the feature.

“I think it’s cool to see everyone’s perspective on what’s going on around campus,” Kainer said. “It allows you to get the whole picture of your school.”

The mobile phone app “Snapchat” launched a new feature called “Our Campus Story” on UT’s campus Friday.

According to a statement released by Snapchat on Oct. 17, Snapchat users on and around campus can view a regular feed of images and videos uploaded by users on the campus. For its first trial of this feature, Snapchat selected UT, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Southern California and Pennsylvania State University. Snapchat launched similar features at Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Electric Daisy Carnival, New York Fashion Week and college football games.

“Our Campus Story was the natural evolution of the Our Story product that we launched at [Electronic Daisy Carnival] this year,” Snapchat said in statement. “Our team heard tons of requests for Our Story at college campuses — so we just had to make it happen.” 

Mike Horn, director of digital strategy at UT, said Snapchat did not consult with or alert the University prior to the launch of the feature, but so far the University has reacted positively. 

“Our first reaction was kind of curiosity,” Horn said. “It’s so new to us that we haven’t developed a formal strategy around it, but it seems like a great tool for students to get a feel for whatever is going on on campus.” 

Officials from Penn State’s and USC’s social media teams said they had not been contacted by Snapchat about the new feature either. 

Horn said Snapchat may have selected the four campuses because of their large base of Snapchat users. 

The Snapchat team filters all uploaded content and removes inappropriate material. The recent feed has included videos of pranks inside University dorms, chemistry experiments, student yoga classes and football locker rooms.

Hugo Rojo, a public relations senior and “pretty consistent” Snapchat user, said he has not uploaded any content yet, but has enjoyed the feed. He said the new feature allows users to witness slices of daily life on campus that they would otherwise never see. 

“With the introduction of Our Campus Story, it’s really providing a lens to the greater campus community to people who normally wouldn’t be able to experience it,” Rojas said.

Snapchat is planning to expand its Our Campus Story to other campus locations around the world.