Excerpt from this article:
The best way to understand Snapchat Stories is to imagine a short and very personal TV show: directed, edited and starring you. There are technical limitations. The videos are shot and viewed mainly on smartphones. And each clip can be up to only 10 seconds long, though you can record dozens of them in a row, creating an episode that is a few minutes long.
Snapchat Stories can either be private, only viewable by your friends, or public and seen by anyone. But unlike other social video services, and here’s the best part, Snapchat Stories last 24 hours and then — poof! — they’re gone.
And because your clips vanish after being viewed, you can be as normal or silly as you want. In that way, they mimic real life.
That’s the main reason people I know have been drawn to Snapchat Stories. They are fed up with managing injurious comments on Facebook, worried that a vicious mob will attack them for saying the wrong thing on Twitter or frustrated that a photo they share online will show up in a Google search for all of eternity.
A group of teenagers I spoke with recently told me about their secret way of using Facebook so that public posts don’t stay public forever. Here’s how it works: Jack posts a comment on Jill’s Facebook page; when Jill reads the comment, she “likes” it; when Jack sees that, he goes back and deletes the comment. Sounds complicated, but young Facebook users do this to replicate the ephemeral nature of Snapchat.