Those Gender-Swap Snapchat Filters Were Definitely A Huge Marketing Ploy


Snapchat has been metaphorically dead for ages. 

No one uses the app anymore unless it’s to annoy their partner with real-time updates of every meal they eat in a day or to send some cheeky pics, if ya know what I mean. 

Wink, wink. Source: Giphy.

But about a month ago, new life was breathed into Snapchat that was reminiscent of it’s glory days #neverforget. 

The release of three new filters which transformed users into a baby and into the opposite gender sent the entire world into a frenzy. Meet Chris, my ruggedly handsome alter-ego with a jawline that Clark Kent would envy: 

Hey, you single?

Suddenly, people worldwide had reason to use Snapchat again and those who no longer had the app were re-downloading it just to try the filters. I made jokes about it being a clever marketing ploy; a way for Snapchat to get back in the game and give Instagram a run for its money (Instagram is where it’s at these days). 

Of course, I had no solid proof this was the case, but I was pretty damn sure. And today, friends, I present you with the closest thing to proof I have: evidence. 

Turns out Snapchat’s download rate doubled thanks to the new filters. The monthly numbers tipped over 40 million in May. 

Figures from Sensor Tower and provided to One Zero show daily downloads doubled in May thanks to the new filters. That’s a rise from around 600,000 a day to around 2 million on some days and a whopping total of 40 million downloads for the month.

The numbers are impressive for two main reasons: 

  1. They’re HUGE.
  2. They prove things have been completely turned around.  

Snapchat’s impact in the social networking world has suffered the last few years, being over-shone by competitors with more user friendly interfaces and bigger investments backing them (@Mark Zuckerberg). 

Filters and lenses were pioneered by Snapchat before other rivals copied the idea and made the OG irrelevant (@Instagram). Even Facebook has a ‘stories’ feature now (granted, no one but my mum uses it). 

Snapchat’s baby and gender-swap filters were a great way to re-grab people’s attention and increase those downloads. But it’s what Snapchat does next that is of most importance: a good marketing plan is worth nothing without good follow through. 

So come on Snapchat, I’m rooting for you.

Your Relationship Status Does Not Define You, Leave It Off Your Bio Already

Also, it’s just annoying.

Social media is great for lots of things. Tagging your friends in memes and posting life highlights being two of the main ones.

I totally understand posting a picture of the new puppy you got (I am ALL FOR dog photos) or you and your partner on a night out or a shameless selfie. Hell, I’ll even hit ‘like’ on a photo of your lunch if it’s aesthetically pleasing enough.

But one thing I will never understand is the need to post your partners name in your social bio. You know exactly what I’m referring to. The stupid ‘name’/‘initials’ followed by a love heart and mainly found on Instagram accounts.

It especially irks me when I see it on the profile of a fully grown, successful, independent adult. We’re not in primary school and we’re way past the days when updating your Facebook relationship status was cool, so what is the thought process behind adding your partners initials into your bio?

Is it because you’re stuck in 2010? Or is it because you see other people doing it and want to do the same? It fascinates and infuriates me.

I will not judge you if:

You include initials in your bio to repel unwanted attention. I know some people, especially social media influencers and women, do this to try and stop followers from pursuing them.

No one likes an unsolicited dick pic.

No thank you.

I’l also forgive you if it’s a joke. I have a friend whose couple name works out to ‘B.J’ and embraces the innuendo.

We’re all mature adults here.


If you’re a twelvie you’re also off the hook. You don’t know any better, I understand.

If you do not fit into one of the above three categories then, I’m sorry, I will hate you a little bit for including those initials in your bio.

Don’t get me wrong, I love love. I respect your love for your partner. I love my partner very much. I just don’t see the need to advertise it to the world with some emojis in my bio.

Especially because my bio is visible to anyone and everyone who views my profile, no matter if it’s on private or public. I’m not hiding my relationship, but I also don’t feel like it’s a necessary piece of information for people to decide to follow me.

I also don’t feel like it’s a necessary piece of information for people to judge me off. I am not defined by my relationship. Therefore, my partner’s initials do not need to go in my bio.


Having said all this, I still respect individual choice. If you like including your relationship status in your Instagram bio, then that’s your prerogative.

But maybe also think about the things that really define you- the things that you really love and want people to know. Your entire personality can not and should not be summed up by a couple of letters and some emojis.

We Can All Learn A Thing Or Two From Helen Mirren On Instagram

Watch and learn.

My mum*, Helen Mirren, is on Instagram and her feed is the definition of #inspo.

There’s no colour consistency, no photo theme, no perfectly posed glam picture and not a bikini in sight. Instead, it’s full of candid moments from Helen’s travels, encounters with friends, encounters with strangers and her every day life.

Including a series which she calls ‘quelques chapeaux de jazz fest’ or ‘Some Jazz Fest hats’.

Revolutionary work Helen.

You’re probably thinking ??? but stay with me here.

Helen’s feed is inspirational because it’s the perfect example of how we should all be using Instagram. Curated feeds might look pretty but they’re only good for wasting time.

Instead, we should be using The Gram authentically. Posting about the things we care about and the things that makes us smile and the things we feel passionate about.

There is no limit. And you needn’t look far for ideas because Helen’s got you covered.

You can post about crazy hats at the races:

Blurry graduation excitement:

A post-spa sleepy selfie:

Play a guessing game with your followers:

Be silly with mates:

Pose with some portraiture:

#nomakeup #nofilter

And take a selfie with Jason Momoa and a bunch of Oscar awards like the chill professional you are:

The next time you’re trying to get the perfect shot or are fiddling with filters before uploading a picture to Instagram just think “What Would Helen Do?” (WWHD).


*She’s not my actual mum but I wish she was. Sorry to my actual mum.

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