Students might have once said, “Let me take a selfie,” but now they can say, “Let me take a selfie and show off my Edinboro University pride at the same time!”
As most students were packing their suitcases and piling boxes of their belongings into their cars for the drive home, Tyler Nowosielski decided to create a Snapchat filter for current students to show off their school spirit.
Snapchat is a popular app created only a few years ago by Evan Spiegel and others. Users can send messages along with pictures and short, up-to-10-second videos, which will disappear after a set amount of time, to the people on their friends list. They can also add those pictures and videos to a story for all their friends list to view for up to 24 hours after they’re posted. Filters can be placed over top of photos to show the time, the temperature, the phone’s battery life, the user’s location and time.
The ones used to display someone’s location are called geofilters. After being approved by Snapchat, the first of three geofilters was activated. While it wasn’t activated in time for May’s commencement ceremony, Nowosielski, who is now a senior at Edinboro, will be able to send all his Snapchat friends a photo with an Edinboro-themed filter while in his cap and gown.
“I was looking through the filters of other random places, and I was just like, I think it’d be interesting if we had a filter for Edinboro,” Nowosielski said. When he further investigated, he found that anyone could create geofilters to be submitted and approved by Snapchat. Using a template available on Snapchat’s website and following the site’s additional guidelines, Nowosielski began experimenting in Photoshop with different fonts and colors to create the first of the three geofilters currently available on Snapchat, this one reading, “Edinboro Fighting Scots.”
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Nowosielski said. “I was just hoping that they’d accept it.” Even before all the students arrived back on campus for the fall semester, the geofilter was popular enough that Snapchat asked Nowosielski to design more. He submitted six more. Of the six, two more were accepted and activated. One shows Edinboro on a Pennsylvania map, and the other reads “I bleed Royal Stewart Plaid.”
“I didn’t know our official school colors, but we are known for our plaid, so I thought Royal Stewart Plaid would be interesting,” Nowosielski said. “Only Edinboro people would get it.”
Nowosielski studies applied media arts/cinema, but also is interested in photography and graphic design. He is the president of Edinboro University’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Council for the Honor’s Program.
“I think more people should get on board with using snapchat as a form of either promoting things or getting other people involved,” Nowosielski said. “I just think that people underutilize snapchat,and it’s a huge social media game-changer.”
He intends to create more Snapchat filters throughout this academic year in order to promote Edinboro events.
Tracy Geibel is the campus life editor for The Spectator.