Happy 7th Birthday, Snapchat. It's hard to believe that it's been seven years since Snapchat first appeared in our app stores. I'd say that it's been a great seven years for the photo and video messaging app. As a frontrunner with new technologies and innovations, Snapchat is often imitated but rarely bettered.
How it all started
In 2011, Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown came up with the idea for an image messaging application as part of their product design class. From here, Snapchat was born and the growth was substantial.
There was an increasing numbers of snaps being sent daily, which allowed funding for new innovations. One of these innovations came in December 2012 when the company released video sharing on the app.
At the same time, Facebook was starting to see Snapchat as a competitor and acted on this by releasing its own products to compete directly with the application. One of these products was ‘Poke’.
Poke was an app used to send images and videos which expire over time. This app however was short lived and was taken off the app store in May 2014 (after only two years), ending Facebook’s direct competition with Snapchat.
Expansion and new products
Snapchat expanded once again in October 2013, when the company introduced ‘Snapchat Stories’. It was reported during this period that Snapchat had received a $3bn (£2.3bn) offer from Facebook to acquire the company. This offer was declined.
The numbers were increasing rapidly for Snapchat, with a total of 400 million snaps being shared per day. The main draw of the app was that it allowed users to be themselves.
In my opinion, this is due to the ‘ephemeral’ feature of the images and videos that are sent. Snapchat believed its app lended a personal touch, emphasising the fact that users tend to only be connected to their closest friends. This was also something that other social media platforms couldn't boast.
The following year, in October 2014, Snapchat introduced ads from brands into its app and followed with the first sponsored story from Samsung during the American Music Awards. This was followed by the launch of the Discover section of the app, allowing its users to view content published by top media companies.
This was again an innovative feature which allowed users to feel closer to the brands that they follow i.e. bringing brands closer to the consumer.
Snapchat becomes Snap Inc
In the next few years, Snapchat rebranded itself into Snap Inc, placing an emphasis on the development of hardware in addition to software backed up with the release of ‘Spectacles’.
Products like this made Snapchat one of the leaders in new technologies and innovations, having a big effect on the social media world and the use of photo and video as communication. They’ve also taken advantage of the increase in mobile consumption by being a mobile-only app.
Snapchat has come a long way in the last seven years with a current user base of more than 188m daily users globally. Additionally, more than 25% of smartphone users in the UK, US and France use Snapchat every day. They have become a major player within the social media landscape over the past seven years and there is no doubt that Snap Inc will continue to grow for many years to come.
To celebrate Snapchat's birthday, iProspect has created a dedicated filter for team members to enjoy on the day.