Fun Snapchat Geofilters From Around Florida

    By Jodi Mailander Farrell

    Want to send a digital postcard from Florida?

    There’s an app for that. Actually, it’s a function within Snapchat, the trendy selfie mobile application that allows travelers to document where they are and what they’re up to in a creative, multi-media format that can be shared in an instant with friends, family and followers.

    With 166 million daily active users and 3 billion Snaps taken daily, Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media apps out there today. Its ability to create frames or overlays on photos makes it a fun feature for commemorating vacations and trips.

    Geofilters within the Snapchat app are location-specific graphic designs that can be added to pictures taken on the social media app. To access the designer-ready filters, you have to be in the right spot. With one screen shot or downloaded image, the embellished photos can also become permanent reminders of your time in that locale.

    Travelers using Snapchat can collect geofilters like souvenirs – especially around Florida, where the filters are plentiful.

    Florida is one of the top five states in the nation with the highest number of geofilters, according to Zolenda, a Detroit marketing agency that specializes in mobile media. Cities small and large around Florida have their own Snapchat filters that can be used only in those places. Most of Florida’s theme parks, museums, state parks, cultural centers and other spots have the filters, too. Some large places have multiple Snapchat filters.

    Visiting Orlando? Look for the city’s Snapchat filter, which consists of black text along the top that reads ORLANDO, with the “O” at the end decorated like an orange.

    In Miami? Search for the geofilter designed by three Miami friends to look like a vintage postcard, with each pink-and-white letter in MIAMI depicting such Magic City icons as the University of Miami’s Ibis mascot, the Miami Heat’s Burnie mascot, palm trees, dolphins and a swimmer. Everyone from Kim Kardashian to DJ Khaled has posted images using the filter.

    How to do it

    Sharing photos and videos with a geofilter uses a form of technology called geofencing, which leverages GPS to designate an area where a geofilter, or photo frame, is available to anyone with Snapchat open in that spot.

    To use the selfie-enhancing technology, turn on location services on your smart phone. Tap on your face (or someone else’s) to pull up a filter before you shoot a picture on the Snapchat app. Once you’ve captured a photo or video, swipe left or right to see if there are other geofilter options. The app allows pictures, videos, text and drawings to be sent for up to 10 seconds before they disappear, but the digital postcard can be saved if you take a screenshot or download the image.

    For instance, if you’re strolling along Worth Avenue, the iconic retail street in Palm Beach, you can snap a picture on the Snapchat app and slide your finger to access the street’s geofilter, which features the island’s iconic clock tower.

    The Snapchat app, created by three Stanford University students in 2011, also allows brands to pay to sponsor geofilters around locations and events. Walt Disney World in Orlando has Snapchat geofilters for rides and locations in its parks, which has spurred Disney fans and bloggers to exchange tips on how to find and collect each one. Magic Kingdom Park alone has at least a dozen, including filters for Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle.

    Along with established filters in its parks, Universal Studios creates more than 20 temporary Snapchat filters for each of the houses and scare zones at its Halloween Horror Nights, held every fall from September through early November.

    Last year at Art Basel Miami Beach, the international visual art fair held annually in South Florida, an online art collectors’ resource called Artsy teamed up with Snapchat to curate 13 artist geofilters that visitors could use and collect. The effort was the world’s first major art geofilter project.

     “This was such an exciting opportunity to connect Snapchat users with contemporary artists,” Artsy Social Media Manager Mark Rosen told Forbes magazine. “The project came together so quickly, but everyone I ran into in Miami really loved the filters. I know the artists certainly did!”

    Snapchat recently added the ability for users to create their own geofilters to commemorate special events and moments, such as weddings or family reunions. But the majority of filters are still made by individual users, which means Florida visitors can connect with residents by using or collecting local designs to mark their visits. In Palm Beach County, more than 30 geofilters have been designed by local teenagers.

    While you can't search for specific filters because they come and go, check out the slideshow for a few eye-catching favorites to watch for as you travel the Snap-worthy state of Florida.

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