Muslims applaud Snapchat's Mecca livestream!
Muslims all around the world are in awe of Snapchat's 300-second long live story on Ramadan prayers in Mecca. As the event coverage went viral on Snapchat, over a million users tweeted about it with the #Mecca_live. Al-Jazeera said that this move has brought positive attention to the annual pilgrimage and is an excellent attempt to ward off the negative global narrative surrounding Islam.
Snapchat is a photo-video messaging application launched in 2011. The application allows users to send their photos, videos with texts and drawings to a controlled list of recipients who can view it for 1-10 secs. Snapchat creators have been continuously modifying the application and launching new features like Snapcash, Discover feature, My story, live feed and Best friend feature for its users..
According to a survey, Snapchat had around 400 million daily snaps posted by the users in 2013 which became 700 million daily snaps in 2014.
Snapchat's "Our Story" feature which was launched in June 2014 went live for all users instead of being visible to only those contributed to the story. The official blog post of Snapchat said, "You'll notice today that there's a new 'Live' section beneath your Recent Updates. That's where you'll be able to experience Stories contributed by the Snapchat community at all sorts of events."
Around 300,000 people had tweeted to Snapchat's official Twitter handle to showcase the Ramadan prayers going on in Mecca, the Muslim holy pilgrimage which cannot be visited by non-Muslims. These Twitter users wanted everyone around the world to witness a rarely viewed event on the 27th day of Ramadan (13th July this year). It is considered to be the most auspicious night for Muslims.
After hundreds and thousands of requests by Twitter users, Snapchat finally showcased the prayer ceremony going on at Mecca on the holiest Muslim night of Laylat Al Qadr. Thousands expressed their joy as the world witnessed over 2 million people praying together and reading Quran circling Mecca's iconic Kaaba. The live feed also showed people describing their feelings at such a massive sacred gathering.
A girl tweeted after watching Snapchat's Mecca story, "I'm not a muslim but seeing #mecca_live makes me wanna convert!"