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Snapchat, Inc, just released their IPO and people are going crazy over Snap stock. If you haven’t heard of Snapchat by now, then there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. Snapchat is today’s most popular social media application among millennial’s. The app focuses on disposal content that you can share with friends between 1-to-10 seconds, or upload content to your ‘story’ that will stay active for 24 hours. Snapchat was initially created with the sole purpose of exchanging nude photos of one another, and though the app is still infamously known for that, Snapchat offers a way to capture raw moments in life. Most of the moments individuals now share with each other are strange objects, unique scenery, and of course, food. A popular phrase has even been coined, “if you didn’t Snap it, did it really happen?”
But what makes Snapchat so popular? Snapchat encourages sharing personal moments with close friends, despite not physically being with them. Snapchat is widely popular with millennials and centennials due to their love of sharing moments and experiences. Now, combine that attribute with the ability to share 10-seconds worth of content, appealing to the short attention that humanity has developed, is a recipe for success. Snapchat has managed to take all the positive aspects of each big-name social media platform. Further, they’ve incorporated them all into one social media application – photos, videos, filters, emojis, artistic doodles, and text without it permanently being stuck on the web. However, there’s still the option of screenshotting a snap, so think twice before you send that risky photo. Researchers have also found that the way individuals interact accounts for Snapchats success among its users. Interactions are not ‘transactional’ like a text message, or as impersonal as a status update on Facebook and Twitter, but rather more ‘conversational,’ and it has the ability to place users in the exact moment an event occurred.
With all of these amazing features intertwined within Snapchat, some may wonder how does the social media app make money. Snapchat has found an interesting way to disguise ads between Snaps, and stories. Individuals are likely to see ads when they shuffle between stories. However, these ads are not your typical 30-to-60 seconds long. They are shorter, much shorter. They can range anywhere from 5-to-10 seconds long, and the best part is that they can be skipped by users. Contrary to many people’s belief, millennials are less likely to pay for an application than any other generation.
Another reason why Snapchat has become so popular over the years is due to its relevancy. Twitter has an endless stream of tweets, and users often move on to another application before they get a chance to read a tweet from someone they care about. Meanwhile, Facebook feeds are either filled with people that you don’t often consider close friends or click-bait. Click-bait is a coined phrase that describes an interesting title, but redirects to an uninteresting page when clicked. The unfortunate case of Twitter and Facebook is that users spend a lot of time trying to find that small sliver of content that is relevant and interesting to the user. Snapchat is much different. Yes, there is a lot of content on Snapchat that is waiting to be found, but Snapchat allows you to follow, view and receive content from the people you care about. Snapchat even has a section called Discover which is news-like content, and even that section can be editable. Users can select which publications, new stations and TV channels they want to view.
The last reason why Snapchat has become so popular, and probably the most important, the application is just downright fun to use. Users can attach goofy stickers, funky lenses that add a mask, manipulate the structure of your face or add geofilter sliders that indicate which city or location you are in while Snapping. Even the Discover aspect of Snapchat, which is probably the least interesting part, is still more engaging than Twitter Moments – a similar news like attribute.
Team members of Glint regularly use Snapchat, so we decided to conduct an internal survey:
What is it about Snapchat that you like the most?
“I love Snapchat because it allows me to capture raw moments of life. Anyone can record an event and add effects to make it look more appealing, but with Snapchat, the moment itself is appealing; not the effects added to it. It’s authentic and unfiltered. I love using Instagram, but every photo and video I come across looks like a glossy imitation of reality.”
What don’t you like about Snapchat?
“I do not like how you can screenshot users content. I have had friends screenshot embarrassing photos I have sent before, and it would be great if Snapchat could remove that feature. Hint, hint, Snapchat.”
What do you use Snapchat for?
“Initially, I used Snap to send photos and videos, but as Snapchat evolved, so has the way I use it. I now use Snapchat as my preferred method of communication. I use it to for text messages and phone calls. The best part is that the app allows me to add a personal touch to my message specifically tailored for whomever I’m sending a message to.”
Would you ever stop using Snapchat?
“The first step to recovery is acceptance, and I accept that I’m addicted to Snapchat, but I can only see myself stop on the off chance that my friends stop using it. There would be no reason for me use an application if my only form of interaction was viewing other people’s stories. I like sending and receiving content from friends.”
There’s no doubt that Snapchat will become a household name like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s interesting to note that Facebook saw the potential of Snapchat just after a year of its creation. Facebook offered Snapchat $3 billion dollars to buy it out, but to many people’s surprise, Snapchat declined the offer. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars in 2012, and Facebook has made Instagram the number one photo sharing application in the world. Facebook may have had a different plan for Snapchat, but no one is complaining about the potential fate of Snapchat under Facebook control. If you haven’t used Snapchat yet, we encourage you to experiment with your friends, and if we have one recommendation it would be this: if you’re not willing to risk that Snap being screenshotted then don’t send it.