Around Town

Where do Charlotte’s Snapchat filters come from? Meet one of the designers.

Did it bug you when Snapchat introduced geofilters last summer for NYC and LA but not Charlotte?

It bugged me. And it bugged Jasmine McCarton.

Wait, what are “geofilters”?

Geofilters are those artsy location tags users can add to their Snapchat photos. (Editor’s note: If you don’t know what Snapchat is, click here, then come back. We’ll wait.)

New Yorkers could enhance their snaps with the word “Manhattan” designed to look like skyscrapers, but Charlotteans had nothing of the sort.

Where do they come from?

On Dec. 2, Snapchat introduced “Community Geofilters,” allowing anyone to design and submit geofilters for specific locations. Previously, there were only geofilters created by Snapchat.

Of Snapchat’s few thousand geofilters worldwide, about half of them are contributed by community members. Charlotte’s only geofilter designed by Snapchat is the stamp design at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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Jasmine, a 20-year-old student at UNC Charlotte, learned about the submissions through Twitter and immediately powered up Photoshop.

“I have to make one for Charlotte,” she thought to herself. “We deserve it.”

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And her designs?

Jasmine’s “Queen City” design was Charlotte’s first community member geofilter, which went up in April.

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Jasmine is also responsible for the NoDa and Plaza Midwood geofilters.

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How does it work?

During the submission process, designers specify the geographic area where their geofilter will be available.

For the NoDa geofilter, “I started with North Davidson and included really popular stores where I know people use Snapchat, like Amelie’s, Birdsong, and a bunch of different breweries,” she said.

Same thing for Plaza Midwood: “I made sure all the important diners were included.”

Right now, most of Charlotte’s geofilters fall within the I-485 loop, and many of them play with the skyline or “Queen City” nickname and crown symbol.

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What about the other neighborhoods?

Jasmine’s geofilters are the only neighborhood-specific ones. Both she and Snapchat agree Charlotte’s collection could be more diverse.

“I’m definitely going to make one for the University area. I know so many college students that would use it,” Jasmine said.

She also wants to make geofilters for Charlotte’s sports teams, but needs proof of the teams’ approval, since Snapchat’s guidelines prohibit logos or trademarks.

Jasmine’s advice to other Charlotte designers: “Be extremely original so that we don’t have too many of the same filters. … Keep where you’re designing for in mind.”

Snapchat said they’re looking for creativity, utility, and uniqueness in submissions.

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Charlotte is looking for a brand. Jasmine thinks it could be art. To her, the heart of the city seems to be NoDa and Plaza Midwood, where she’s seen beautiful art booths, galleries, statues, and murals.

Creative people of Charlotte: design, Design, DESIGN! See Snapchat’s guidelines here.

C5 challenge! Let’s see if we can get photos of all of Charlotte’s geofilters. Turn location services on, take your Snap and swipe left. Tweet screenshots to @Charlotte_Five.

Photos: Jessica Capwell and Snapchat.


Jessica Capwell
Jessica Capwell
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