The phrase "Snapchat for babies" is probably enough to send eyes rolling within a half second of hearing it.
It probably sounds silly -- you can almost imagine a precocious toddler in a pair of tiny Ugg boots, mugging for a selfie, barely able to get her hands around the phone.
But this is no joke. It's the idea behind an app called Baby Snap that asks parents to take one-second videos of their kids every day and share the resulting time-lapse-esque product with family and friends, or on social networks like Instagram and Facebook. It's a little like adding to your Story in Instagram or Snapchat.
"Kids grow up very fast, so in a two- or three-minute video, you can see how this little kid is growing into a big one," said Baby Snap co-founder Tim Raiter.
So, yeah, welcome to Snapchat for parents.
As more tech-savvy folks age into the child-rearing stage of life, it's not all that surprising that they'd document their offspring just as they've been snapping every latte, beach vacation and hashtag-blessed moment for years. Pew Research estimates that 16 million millennial women alone are moms. Three-quarters of parents who are online use Facebook, and 25 percent are on Instagram. Parents on Facebook are also some of the most avid social media users, Pew said.
Also, you probably know just by logging into Facebook that people love posting about their cute babies
So one could argue it's almost crazy that there's not an explosion of Snapchats for parents already.
Raiter and his co-founder Vitaily Urban think you'll latch on to Baby Snap for a variety of reasons.
For one, it's a way to keep your kid from dominating your life on social media.
"When some young parents try to share everything about their kids on Instagram or Facebook, the Facebook coverts to the Facebook of the baby," Raiter said over Skype.
When parents take snaps of their kids, those snaps are strung together. When a new one gets added, it triggers a notification to family or friends and they can message about the snap within the app. Parents can also select endpoints to generate the video. So far, Baby Snap has more than 20,000 installs from Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPad. An Android version is in the works, too.
By its nature, Baby Snap solves another issue for parents: keeping curious families up-to-date.
That's key for Amanda Nally, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, who posts pictures of her and her husband's 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pretty much every day.
You might think that's a bit much, but if the grandparents don't see that daily picture, Nally gets a call.
"The beauty of technology is we've been able to share those moments, share what our days look like and what our homes look like, and I feel like it brings us together as a family," Nally said, especially when family lives a few states away. Baby Snap's automatic notifications could alleviate her family's daily hunt for that new picture.
There's no shortage of apps out there for keeping tabs on your kid in some respect. Apps like Glow Baby and The Wonder Weeks help you track just about everything from developmental milestones down to the color of that diaper situation. Keepy captures and shares your kid's artwork and school work. Daily Kiddo creates a digital scrapbook of photos and videos for family and friends.
"Especially with the first child, there's this intense desire to commemorate everything," said Gregarious Narain, who's both a father to a 2-year-old and co-founder of innovation consultancy Before Alpha.
But how many apps do you need? Can you even handle?
Baby Snap is actually a spinoff app from Hello Baby, a free service aimed at preserving and sharing baby-related memories with family. Within the app, there's a feature for taking a short video everyday, which became one of the most popular parts of the app. Six months ago, they spun it out into Baby Snap.
After trying a handful of baby-oriented apps, Pamela Granoff, a 33-year old new mother in Miami, has only found two services that have been "sticky" enough to keep her using them. Qeepsake sends her text message questions about her son Hayden that she can answer and view later, and she uses Kid-Capsule to journal.
"I have enough apps," Granoff said, noting that she's most likely to pull up her camera app than anything else. Right now, there's too much else to do just keeping a fresh little creature fed, changed, burped and otherwise ticking along.
Granoff did set up a public Instagram account for her son just a few days after he was born Sept. 17 of this year. So far, she's posted 12 photos, including one of Hayden in a onesie that says "born awesome."
The key to success, Narain said, is understanding the workflow of the parent when it comes to documenting their kid, even if every parent does it a little differently.
After all, Granoff decided pretty early that she didn't want to contribute to the grapeshot of cute but endless posts of Facebook babies, covered in stuff like Spaghettios. "I always swore I would not be one of those people."
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