By Chelsea Johnson
Since the release of SnapChat in 2011, the popular photo-sharing app has won the hearts of millions of users … it’s now even being used by sex workers to broaden their businesses.
SnapChat allows users to upload photos and videos to their ‘story’ for their friends to view, allows users to send photos directly to their friends, and sends notifications to the sender if someone screenshots those photos.
Images shared to Snapchat can only be viewed once for up to 10 seconds when sent to someone directly, and are available for just 24 hours when uploaded to a story.
A Perth sex worker, who prefers to be known by her professional name of London, has been using the app with her clients for the last two years.
“I had a few friends that did camera and escort work who used SnapChat for promoting themselves and to make some money so I figured why not and I started offering it from then,” London said.
Ten-per-cent of London’s clients try her SnapChat service, with half of them signing up for multiple paid subscriptions to London’s accounts.
London believes that sex workers and adult entertainers like to use Snapchat in their work for a few reasons.
“Ease of use, and a sense of security from the images disappearing,” she said.
“It can be done discreetly and it helps to advertise through your story.”
Catherine Archer, a Murdoch University academic with a special interest in social media, believes that sex workers using SnapChat makes sense.
“Clearly social media has become the most important tool for marketing and public relations for all organisations and industries, even the Royal family, so it stands to reason that sex workers would use that platform because it’s a very easy way of getting their business recommended and connecting with their customers,” Catherine said.
“It’s very visual and that’s what it’s all about, particularly if you’re a sex worker,” she said.