The application that is used 8 billion times daily was formed on the simple premise that what goes on the internet, shouldn’t stay there. Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy, all students at Stanford, simply one day thought if the photos they had sent to their girlfriends could suddenly disappear. Now they do because that is how Snap Chat was born. It’s funny to point out that the application now millions use for social interaction almost seemed like it was born out of a need for hiding your dirty messages. Had the application gone another way Snap Chat would have been an application primarily for sexting (an allegation Snap Chat had to face in its early days).
Phase 1: Launch
Snapchat was released in the June of 2011 at which point it was initially called Pictaboo and had a slightly different icon then it does now. By the end of the summer it only had 127 users! Within the year the three owners had a spat and Reggie Brown was forced out of the company.
By the end of 2011 high school and university students, the few classes of people who realize just how damaging an image on the internet can be, were flocking to the application. By spring of 2012 the application had 100,00 users. This however brought on the added issue of server bills which were becoming larger with the increasing user base.
At this point Snapchat got its first major investment from Lightspeed Ventures. This meant that Snapchat started out it’s venture into the legitimate at an initial valuation of $4.25 million! At this point Evan Spiegel dropped out of Stanford to dedicate his time entirely to Snapchat.
Phase 2: Development
By the end of 2012 Snapchat launched two additional features that further diversified the Snapchat experience. Video Snaps and Best Friends. Video snaps now allowed users to send 10 second videos to friends. The added best friends feature rated your interactions with your friends and so people could see who your best friends were!
Around this time Facebook too were beginning to be threatened by Snapchat and they launched “Poke” which was basically a copy of Snapchat. The application flopped hard and Snapchat was officially crowned the winner in image messaging.
Phase 3: 2013/14 and the Years of Growth
By Spring 2013 Snapchat was seeing over 60 million snaps sent per day. All of Snapchat’s success this year stemmed out of key features they introduced in 2013 which included their editing feature, their replay feature and their iconic story time feature. Their editing feature allowed everyone to artistically alter their snaps and the result has been one we have enjoyed for years and will continue to do so. Comedy and Snapchat became one at this point.
Among the most iconic features was the introduction of story time which is now Snapchats essence. The features that allows you unlimited views on your crushes or enemies Snapchat for 24 hours, and have them not even know.
At the end of 2013 Snapchat had suffered a massive hacking attack that leaked the private data of its 4.6 million users. People naturally were outraged but their rage subsided fast and Snapchat continued to grow. The application reached its peak statistics of 100 million active users and 400 million snaps a day in the year following the incident.
Within the year Snapchat added certain features that were central to social media networks. This included a messaging feature, a geotagging option, as well as an option to pay through snapchat. It was around this time that Snapchat came into direct competition with Instagram and they did so with flying colors by launching a flurry of features that made the application absolutely phenomenal.
Snapchat also added the “live” feature whereby you could follow events taking place in real time. The feature began to be called “Our Story” which allowed users to add Snaps to a single, event based story. The entire group of attendees can then post to a single stream of an event.
Another added feature was the introduction of emojis. You could now add emojis next to your friends that described the kind of relationship you two shared. They also now allowed you to further edit your snaps by adding filters, position texts, emojis or the time of the snap etc.
The biggest update to Snapchat came in the end of 2015 with Snapchat’s introduction of face-altering filters! Finally, users had the liberty of becoming dogs in real life, oh the excitement!
Phase 4: Snapchat Now
If you add all the features discussed above you get what Snapchat is now. Today on a daily basis 8 billion snapchat daily videos and 1 billion stories are viewed. This results in 9000 snaps being shared per second!
The company that initially started out at $4.25 million is now evaluated at nearly $24 billion!
Snapchat is a very human social media network in that it emphasizes communication every day. Through Snapchat’s history they’ve implemented every feature that has proved conducive to human interaction and that’s precisely the reason for its immense growth. Happy Snapping!
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