Why does Snapchat have so many sad filters?

We’re not to afraid to admit that our love for Snapchat is, well, pretty obsessive. (Psst: If you want to follow us, our username is itshellogiggles.) It was already one of the most fun ways to communicate with your friends, but once they introduced filters — WHOA. Whole new world. Let it be said: Snapchat filters. Are. Amazing. There’s simply endless hilarity in seeing yourself as a cartoon dog or a rainbow-puking maniac.

But, maybe you’ve noticed something interesting: While there are a lot of happy-go-lucky filters, there are also quite a few that express sadness. A teary-eyed animation was available when Snapchat debuted its filters:

Just recently, Kim Kardashian sent a waterfall-tear-filled message to her brother Rob following his engagement to Blac Chyna:


And certainly, you’ve noticed the addition of sorrowful filters, some of which are actually kind of realistic. We’ve started to wonder why these filters are so popular and present. Our staff had a recent chat about it, and some we came to some really interesting conclusions:

Senior Editor Madison Vanderberg pointed out that some people tend to use Snapchat when they’re alone. “The only time I remember to use Snapchat is when I’m lonely or just wallowing around. Generally, if I’m out in the world enjoying my life I’m not bothered to stop and take a snap selfie. So, when I’m alone and bored, I’m like, ‘Hey, I’ll take a selfie,’ and that, on some subconscious level, might be kind of sad.”

Assistant Editor Rosemary Donahue had a good point on how Snapchat might be trying to get people to express themselves more. “There are probably so many sad filters because Snapchat is trying to capitalize on the fact that people are becoming more vulnerable on the internet, but like, there’s not really a way to do that with a filter unless you literally put tears on it.”


As for me, (Leo, Executive Editor), sad filters actually make a lot of sense. When people are sad, they are tempted to share it with others. Which I don’t think is a bad thing — it’s actually really human.

Our Culture Editor, Elena Sheppard, pointed out that sad filters can sometimes allow people to express themselves without consequence: “I think because the filters are so overblown, it’s kind of like a weird defensive shield. Like, ‘I’m so sad and life is filled with pain but these tear drops are comically large so if you don’t respond the way I want you to, I can pretend this is a joke.’”

Sad-faced filters, it would seem, actually invite conversation, and can help us make light of bad days. Plus, there’s something about how the runny mascara one also makes you look oddly…perfect?

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