Snapchat made some headlines in 2013; with the app rejecting Facebook’s $3 billion buyout offer in November. On New Years Eve, Snapchat was hacked and 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers was leaked on the web.
Being a bit of a social media enthusiast in the office, I frequently get asked what I’m doing when I’m sending snaps or what Snapchat is. It’s a photo messaging app that allows users to send photos/videos to friends but they can only be viewed for 10 seconds or less and then it’s deleted.
Snapchat has an estimated 50 million users with the core age group of users between 13 – 25 year olds. But why is it so popular?
In the US, 65% of Facbook users are over the age 35, with the average age being 40.5 years old. Mums and dads are on all up on the Facebook these days, even the grandparents, filling Facebook feeds with their page likes, shares, game invites and awkward comments. So teens are fleeing to other social platforms and away from parents peering eyes. The beauty of Snapchat is that you can be selective with who gets to see the snaps, it’s not out on the web for all – ie. Facebook and Instagram.
It’s also a lot faster and easier to send photos. Take a photo or a video with the app, add a text caption, draw, or add a filter. Dictate how long you want the snap to be viewed for (snaps can also be saved before sending). Pick from a list of recipients to send the snap to. All can be done in a matter of seconds, a lot quicker than trying to send a MMS to multiple people.
It’s also good to note that while snaps cannot be retrieved once viewed (new update does allow snaps to be replayed once a day), users still need to be careful. The app doesn’t prevent recipients from taking screenshot. It does notify the sender if someone has taken a screenshot. There are also apps out there that bypass the notification and allows users to save all the snaps they receive. Be safe.
With 10 million snaps being shared daily, even companies are using the app to promote themselves. Taco Bell, Karmaloop, MTV UK, HBO’s TV show Girls, Seventeen magazine are some notable ones. Its even being used as recruiting tool, a Norwegian advertising agency has put out a invitation for students to send in a 10 second pitch for a chance of an interview at the agency. It will be interesting to see if Snapchat’s popularity will stay strong in 2014 and what new ways it will be utilised.
Forbes have written an article on the early beginnings of Snapchat and its the future endeavours. Click here to read.