Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
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Ranking Snapchat’s Geofilters for Dallas-Fort Worth

A clear-eyed assessment of the artistic merits of Snapchat's geofilters for North Texas.

Snapchat really only exists to fuel our most trivial desire of communication: sending our face to friends. Given that, it’s no real surprise that Snapchat reportedly has at least 100 million users and counting.

Since its inception, Snapchat has always had a strong internal focus, accepting its place as a quirky picture messaging service and focusing on improving that experience. Geofilters, a feature that allows users to submit original graphics that can be added to your “snaps” based on your current GPS location, may be the app’s most successful improvement over the past few years, .

Several months were spent collecting dozens of geofilters around Dallas-Fort Worth — taken by me, a few friends and the Dallas “story” feature that lets you view other snaps by locals. Now I’ll rank them so you know exactly where you need to be to bring the most out of your Snapchat game.

My qualifications are as follows: I’ve used Snapchat for several years; I know some basic rules of graphic design thanks to J-school; and OK, that’s actually it. But that’s more than enough for me to confidently proclaim this list flawless and these rankings final.

If your area’s geofilter was missed, see it not as failure but as an opportunity to expand on our collective D-FW geofilter knowledge. I’m sure some obscure ones were missed. A few others were omitted for the sake of brevity (sorry, Dallas area sports teams), because there’s a limit to the number of words your editor will accept about geofilters and man, I’ve got to be pushing it. Going worst to first, we begin with…

Fixed - high schools

  1. High schools

Back in my day, McDonald’s stopped serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m. sharp, our world had never heard of The Dab and Dallas traffic was actu — wait, no, that was still the worst. But more importantly, back in my day, we survived without Snapchat. No high school needs a personalized geofilter and I will not back down from this.

Fixed - Cities that don't need geofilters

  1. Cities that don’t need geofilters

We live in a world with expectations and if you move to a city like Carrollton or Grapevine, one of those expectations should be that your city won’t have geofilter. What’s even the point of going to the big city now if you can just swipe a barely readable neon filter onto the Snapchats you send from the comfort of your bed?

Fixed - UNT

  1. University of North Texas

While this hurts the proud UNT alum inside me, it needs to be said. For the fourth-largest school in Texas to have such a poor representation of geofilters is criminal. The only half-decent one, Club Willis, has a nice, retro feel. But you actually have to step foot in Willis Library to unlock it and c’mon, Snapchat isn’t for nerds.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 1.46.37 PM

  1. Arlington

The city best known for the Dallas Cowboys is constantly vying for national attention, and a single geofilter — a weird, overly patriotic script one, at that — is all they can muster? This is why no one takes you seriously, Arlington.

Fixed - DBU

  1. Dallas Baptist University

Even Dallas Baptist has two geofilters, Arlington. How do you live with yourself?

Fixed - Fort Worth

  1. Fort Worth

So much potential gone to waste with that second one. Seriously, you use a steer and the best you can muster is a hackneyed MS Paint job? The others are fine, if unoriginal. Can I get one with a horned frog, TCU, please?

Fixed - Fair Park

  1. Fair Park

A good geofilter should take up no more than a quarter of your screen (leaving plenty of room for your dumb face) and both of these representatives are almost too much. In my official capacity as geofilter expert, though, I’m ruling that these work. I would like to see one next year that makes some reference to fried food, because c’mon, that alone is 98 percent of the reason people still go to that tricked-out fall festival.

Fixed - Dallas misc

  1. Regional Dallas

I like these, even if the Bishops Arts one is a bit gaudy. But they’re definitely all very niche. Snapchat has never explained how exactly the regional aspect functions, but I imagine these have a working radius just a few square miles large. I’ve never stumbled across them, at least.

Fixed - SMU

  1. Southern Methodist University

The library is stylistically clean, but I can imagine instances where it would get in the way of your beautiful face. No problem! Just switch over to the much subtler red mustang if you still want to show SMU pride while pestering your friends. The wide array of options wins them points here for an impressive No. 5 finish. All that tuition money really is paying off.

Fixed - Denton

  1. Denton

Imaginary points are lost from my made-up grading scale because the first one’s trying too hard to be a quirky Austin knockoff (seriously, Denton, everyone loves you already), but the cohesive unity of these three is quite lovely. Whoever submitted the middle one even pulled off an effective mosaic, which isn’t always the easiest thing (see, Coppell).

Fixed - Frisco

  1. Frisco

Frisco’s the rich uncle who talks about how expensive his Gant sports coat is at every Thanksgiving gathering…But he’s right, you know, it’s a real nice sports coat. Frisco’s existence still feels showoff-y, but you’ve got to admit their geofilters look great.

Fixed - Deep Ellum

  1. Deep Ellum

These are almost too good for the average Deep Ellum patron, sending blurry Snapchats as they stumble over to Serious Pizza after seeing some grungy rock band. There are a lot of things the revived entertainment district is doing right these days, and three artistic, varied geofilters, all small but unique, really reflects how strong the area has become.

Fixed - Dallas

  1. Dallas

Almost anywhere you go in the city, you can slap on one of these beauties and immediately improve whatever picture you’re snapping. They hit all the important measurements that we’ve talked about: a variety of options, not too large, creative but not obnoxious. Well done, Dallas, and bravo.