As a consultant who assists small businesses with social media marketing, one acronym I often get asked about is "WSG" in relation to Snapchat. Many entrepreneurs hear it used by younger Snapchatters and want to understand its meaning before integrating it into their own content strategies.
Defining "WSG" – What the Acronym Stands For
WSG stands for "What‘s good?". It‘s evolved into common slang used by Generation Z social media users as a casual way to greet friends or check what someone is up to.
Some examples of WSG in context on Snapchat:
- Posting a selfie video with the caption "WSG?" to say hello and invite conversation
- Messaging a friend "WSG?? Wanna hang later?" to casually initiate meetup plans
- Commenting "WSG bro!" on a silly Snapchat story
So in everyday usage, WSG has become Gen Z shorthand for "What‘s up?" or "How are you?". It‘s their version of a informal shoutout to Snapchat connections.
Where WSG Came From (Pop Culture Origins)
While now deeply embedded in youth culture and social media, WSG as slang has its roots in hip hop and rap music. Through the 1990s/2000s, popular artists from these genres ad-libbed "What‘s good?" at fans during concerts – almost like a rhetorical high five. They were essentially saying "I see you out there!" to hype up crowds.
These organic artist/audience interactions where rappers used "What‘s good?" as a greeting resonated with young people. Over time it evolved – getting shortened to WSG and morphing from rhetorical Question into a warm meme-ified salutation between friends.
Snapchat, with its focus on personal communication rather than public broadcasting, was the perfect environment for WSG to thrive as Gen Z‘s idiom of choice for connecting.
WSG vs. "HMU" – Comparing the Purpose and Meaning
There are a few other shorthand phrases common on Snapchat similar to WSG in casualness. But each serves a slightly different conversational role.
Take "HMU" for example – short for "Hit me up". Both are friendly greetings, but:
|What‘s good/What‘s up?
|A question inviting response
|A request or open invite
So WSG is used to start a dialogue, while HMU signals that the person welcomes outreach. They‘re similar in spirit, but have nuanced distinctions around intent.
Should Small Brands Use WSG to Engage Young Audiences?
For small businesses trying to connect with Gen Z on Snapchat, using terms like WSG authentically is tricky. Brands must avoid seeming like they‘re attempting to co-opt youth culture inorganically.
I advise most clients to focus less on trendy slang specifically. Rather, their goal should be creating Snaps that feel genuine, casual, creative, and mobile-friendly. Speaking to young audiences on their wavelength doesn‘t mean using the same shorthand.
However, subtler integration of WSG could work for some contexts. A newly opened, Millennial-focused boutique suitably named "What‘s Good" explaining that origin story could caption a Snap "…that‘s how we came up with the name WSG!" without as much backlash.
In general though, WSG is personal vernacular, and most attempts by brands to appropriate it will appear awkward or inauthentic.
I hope this guide clears up some of the common confusion surrounding WSG on Snapchat from a business and marketing perspective. Let me know any other Gen Z social media slang terms that need demystifying!