Recently, I’ve been noticing a trend among the K-pop community as I see idols post selfies with cute filters of pink hearts on their cheeks and plants sprouting on their heads. After spotting a watermark at the bottom center of K-pop group Seventeen’s Twitter post, I found out that a number of Asian celebrities have been using Snow–a Snapchat-like application made by Naver.

Snow isn’t just an app for selfies; it’s a social media network for people to connect. As the better twin of Snapchat, it enhances the socializing aspect by allowing users to reopen sent photos as many times as they want for 24 hours. Snapchat, however, only allows people to reopen snaps twice before disappearing in seconds. Snow also lets users save pictures instead of screenshotting them.

Once you sign up for Snow through Facebook, LINE or email, your screen will look similar to what you see when you open Snapchat. The top bar includes image options such as a self-timer, gifs, night mode, and sizing. The bottom bar has a smiley face for animated filters, much like the ones you see on Snapchat. There is also a big circle to record videos or take pictures, then a cluster of shapes for color-adjustment filters.

My first thought when I saw all of the animated filters was, “WOW.” Right away I understood the hype because the filters are seemingly infinite, ranging past 100 animated filters and 42 color-adjustment filters. The app also allows users to save their favorite ones for easier access.

While Snow is known for its wide range of unique filters and functionality, it fails to emphasize its social aspects to the public. Anything outside of the camera remains untouched, even in South Korea where the app is popular. If the app suddenly stopped trying to be a social media network and decided to center itself on creating filters instead, people wouldn’t think much about it and continue doing what they’ve always done on Snow.

Regardless, it’s a useful tool for taking fun pictures with others or just for myself. If I take a nice picture on Snow, I can just save it to my camera roll and repost it elsewhere to show all of my friends. The social networking side of Snow is just a plus–the filters are the real star of the show. I highly recommend it to people who are looking for a different approach to selfie taking.

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