He paves way to the future of storytelling – with Snapchat

Kategori: English-articles

Filmskaper Casey Neistat bruker Snapchat til historiefortelling Foto: Owerko

The race towards the future of digital storytelling is heating up. A film director with a Snapchat-account is in the lead.

Earlier this summer we discovered that the user @caseyneistat had registered on Snapchat and started posting storiesopen updates that everyone can see, not just the friends you pick. Our attentive Twitter-follower would have seen the following protip from us in june, encouraging to follow Neistat’s account:

Also read: Now you can get Norwegian Broadcastings news on Snapchat [Norwegian]


We have earlier written about Casey Neistat, a highly skilled storyteller using new media platforms. His great success on Youtube proven with +10 million views on several of his films.

Now the summer has passed and we’ve been following Neistat’s small stories the whole time – at work, on planes, in busses and cars. Or small… That’s not entirely right. His stories aren’t small if you compare it to the average Snapchat story – or mobile content in general. His often up to three minute-stories are an eternity.

The key thing is that it works exceptionally well

The way Neistat merges his daily life with the possibilities of the mobile and Snapchats unique form of expression is new and fresh. The combination of storytelling, technology and medium ensues gladness with the viewer.

His video updates thus seem to be a good indication of how storytelling on digital platforms may appear in the future.

Michael Carney, senior editor in Panodaily writes that Neistat has proven how powerful Snapchat can be as a medium for storytelling:

In Neistat’s usage, perhaps more than anything I’ve seen before on Snapchat, I saw a glimpse into the power of the platform as a storytelling medium. 

Michael Carney, Panodaily

So, how does it really look?

In one of the first Snapchat stories, Neistat takes his son to an enormous indoor swimming pool in Germany.

In another video he shares what happens when he takes part in a triathlon:

After another triathlon Neistat asked the audience for questions on Twitter. He posted screenshots of the questions in his Snapchat-story, and consecutively answered them with 10 second video clips.

Casey Neistats Snapchat Q&A Foto:Snapchat/CaseyNeistat
Casey Neistats Snapchat Q&A Foto:Snapchat/CaseyNeistat

From Snapchat to YouTube

Neistat says he has been asked to create a vlog for a long time, but yet had to figure out a solution that would work well enough for him. Come Snapchat, it seems that things harmonized for Neistat.

A Snapchat-story is only avaliable 24 hours after it has been uploaded. That’s why Neistat have turned to his preferred medium to capture the stories, Youtube.

He uploads all his stories in the channel Casey Neistat’s Snap Stories – with the appropriate URL

Vertical video

All the Snapchat-videos Neistat posts are in a vertical format. On it’s way to Youtube the phenomenon known an «vertical video» (that is both loved and hated at NRKbeta) occurs. If you see the video on a mobile screen, the video will fill the whole screen. If you sit on a computer screen, the video won’t fill the whole screen. Neistat is the first to apologize:

"I'm so sorry. Truly, deeply, sorry."
«I’m so sorry. Truly, deeply, sorry.»

A smart move he has made in the vertical videos is to use Youtubes «annotation»-feature. It allows you to add the interactive elements directly on top of the video. With two black bars on either side of the video, it makes a lot of room to add interactivity and other info.

Interactive elements in Neistats YouTube-video
Interaktivt element på Neistats YouTube-video

If you too want to experiment with Snapchat, it may be worthwhile to consider that it will require a lot of battery power, something Neistat shows on his Facebook page:

Interestingly enough, Neistat recently tweetet about the vinefamous (also turned Snapchatter) Jeromme Jarre starting his own Youtube-channel for his Snapchat-stories:

A possible explenation is to take full (creative) control over the content, as Vine and Snapchat-videos are harder to share and thus often ends up in Youtube compilations made by other users.

PS: Don’t forget to add @nrkp3nyheter if you want to see news from the Norwegian Broadcasting in your feed.

Do you know others that uses Snapchat stories in a creative way? Does this kind of storytelling have a future?

1 kommentar

  1. Snapchat Storytelling | Stories Told Well.

    […] it to Casey Neistat to make Snapchat into a decent storytelling medium. I’d be interested in seeing how a business might do the same. Who’s gonna be […]

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