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# Social Media Archiving

Archiving Snapchat

Authored by Civic Plus Logo


February 15, 2017
5 min

Can You Archive Snapchat?

We get this question a lot. The short answer is no.

The longer answer deals with how we collect and retain your social media content. To do this, we directly connect with social networks via their API, which Snapchat does not provide to allow us to authentically or reliably archive a user’s posts. Because snaps disappear quickly, any approach that doesn’t connect directly with the platform, such as web crawling, will inevitably miss data.

This is also the reason why we do not archive NextDoor posts. However, if you have a need for your NextDoor records, you can contact the platform directly, and they are willing to assist you with this kind of request. If you are a current CivicPlus® Social Media Archiving software customer, we can help put you in touch with the appropriate person at NextDoor.

This brings up a larger question: Is adding a new social media network necessary for your agency?

Before you add another platform to your social media roster, really examine why you’re making the addition. Consider questions like:

  • Do you have the time and resources to support this new endeavor?
  • How will the content on this profile differ from your other social pages?
  • Is your target audience using the platform?
  • How will the new platform contribute to your overall social media goals?

If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, the social networks you’re currently using may be able to accomplish what you’re looking for in a new platform. Don’t jump into the latest app just because it’s trending.

For instance, one of the main reasons we hear government communicators adopting Snapchat is to reach a younger audience. However, when you look at the stats, this reason doesn’t hold up. Believe it or not, Facebook remains the most popular social network among adults of all ages, including 18-29 year olds.

Although auto-delete messaging apps are on the rise with this demographic, they may not be the best way for your agency to connect with younger citizens. These users value Snapchat for its privacy and say they’re drawn to the platform because their content disappears or because their parents don’t use it. In other words, just because younger users are there doesn’t mean they want to interact with your agency on this platform.

Archiving Video Platforms

Another reason we hear for adopting Snapchat is because of its video features. If you’re interested in video options similar to what Snapchat provides, you have several alternatives.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live allows you to embrace video content on a platform you’re probably already using to reach your audience. Your live videos are then available for viewing on your Facebook profile once the broadcast is over.


Of course, YouTube is still king when it comes to video sharing, which makes it a great option for reaching a wider audience. The platform also has a live streaming option for you to instantly connect with viewers.

Similar features are also available on Instagram and Vimeo. And we just so happen to archive YouTube, as well as these platforms.

Another popular Snapchat feature for government communicators is a geofilter, which is a location-based overlay that can be applied to snaps. A geofilter is like a stamp that users can add to their images or videos that are specific to a city, monument, or even an event, like a festival or state fair. In regards to records retention, a geofilter from a government agency would count as an official record, but not its usage. This means you would not receive a records request for another user’s posts containing your geofilter, since that’s not a part of your records.

One of the great things about social media is that it’s always evolving. But before jumping on the newest platform, you should determine if it’s a good fit for your agency. Taking this step before creating your profile can set you up for success in the long run.

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Authored by Civic Plus Logo


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