Dave Keystone has been travelling all over the world this summer sharing his images on the popular Snapchat app.
The Toronto native was the winner of a worldwide competition by WOW Air, to become a “SnapTraveller” – Snapchat travel correspondent– across all 28 of the Icelandic airline’s destinations.
“Becoming an international professional ‘SnapTraveller’ has been an incredible experience. I’ve been representing Canada to a global audience,” Keystone, 35, told The CJN.
Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application. The original concept was for users to communicate using short-lived images or ‘snaps.’ Unlike other image-based social media like Instagram, the pictures, or short videos, self-delete after one to 10 seconds.
The app has since evolved into a mix of private messaging and public content, including brand networks, publications and live events.
“When I ‘SnapTravel’, it’s an interactive reality travel show,” Keystone explained. “It includes video of my own thoughts and what’s going on in my own life as I’m travelling around the world. The audience interacts with me-they suggest places to go,‘have you tried this in Stockholm and Copenhagen?’
Keystone has followers from all over the world. “Snapchat is global. I have people who reach out to me from India, Macedonia, Iceland and all across the United States and Canada as well as many other places,” he said. “I get thousands of messages from fans globally, wherever I go.”
Keystone went so far as to call it the “new Facebook.”
“People are texting, posting their own reality shows and interactive magazines. It’s the new up and coming app. I’m a part of the ‘wild west’ in terms of early stages,” of the popularity of the app.
The highlight of being a “SnapTraveller” for Keystone was being sent all over Europe and to Iceland. A serendipitous moment for Keystone took place on a train to Stockholm when he received a snap from a follower telling him that if he was going to Stockholm, he should check out the TBEX travel blogger conference, the largest networking event for online travel journalists and bloggers.
“I booked a ticket to the conference and designed a business card, found a printer and bought outfits. I was soon pitching [new travel Snapchat ideas] to tourism boards from all over the world.”
He said when he used Snapchat for the first time, he was impressed that you could film something, watch it right away and post it online. “The app allows me to work as a professional entertainer: shoot, edit, do music, text instantly and post, without having to hire a sound guy or an editor.”
Keystone is a professional producer and host, he recently hosted the YTV kids show Cook’d. Now he’s able to translate those skills onto social media.
Snapchat, he said, has “allowed me the opportunity to shoot, edit and produce on my own at the cost of my phone charge and data.”
Dave Keystone continues his SnapTraveller journey in Berlin later this summer, which was voted as his destination of choice by fans of WOW Air on Twitter. His Snapchat name is davekeystone.