History of Snapchat: A new perspective on social media and life
Ah, teenagers. When parents flooded Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they thought they had nowhere to turn. Yet, some odd four years ago, three students in a Stanford classroom were dreaming up something huge. Huge enough that Mark Zuckerberg of obvious Facebook fame was desperate to buy it. That idea? Snapchat. When it comes to the history of Snapchat, it is a tale for the entrepreneurial dreamer.
What exactly is Snapchat?
Aside from being the brainchild of Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown Poster during their Stanford years, the history of Snapchat is essentially a simple video messaging app. The innovation lies in the demographic and in the philosophy of the app, more so. Many claim that teenagers are often that magical demographic that can make or break a social media platform. When the parents scorch the Earth, it goes without saying that it hit it’s target and sowed the seeds for a lasting success. In fact, most sources pinpoint the user demographic of Snapchat as being largely twenty-five and under.
Snapchat is another King of “selfie central”, and is also praised for it’s implementation of the “Stories” feature. The philosophy behind the software is that Snaps are taken by users and either sent to specified groups or posted to a Story. It is the appeal of catching fleeting moments in time or those random little moments of enlightenment (or just really good selfies) and sharing them. Users can also set them to only appear for a set amount of time before they are deleted from the servers.
Thus, the stage is set. The demographic is right, the advertising has a unique advantage and the owners even turned down Zuckerberg because they had the foresight to know what they had.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have their share of troubles.
It’s got the moves like Instagram (rather, the lens options), but it made the same mistake
Yeah, this brilliant app still had it’s moments of fallout. Like any app, the history of Snapchat has a few dark spots. Whether it was the lawsuit over ownership purported via Reggie Brown, or “The Snappening”, in which over ten thousand images were deleted, there have been some major issues.
Brown claimed ownership of the app, having stated to have come up with the idea, the logo and the original name of “Picaboo”. His falling out with the other two owners got messy.
There was also the matter of the 2013 Hack, in which a reported 4 million plus usernames and info was made public to, as the hackers put it, put pressure on Snapchat to fix the vulnerability issues. The company issued an apology the week after.
More unfortunate was the privacy issue, in which many foundations were convinced that, like Instagram, their images and Snaps were being sold to third party vendors without monetization or consent on their part. Some apps just never learn. The very nature of Snapchat, again, like Instagram, led to quite a bit of spam Snaps as well as sexting from the users. Who, if you haven’t guessed, were often underage. Some teens never learn.
Success, in spite of everything
So, yes, it’s made its mistakes, but that is nothing new. Snapchat is still rising from it’s fairly recent release to a wild success that many want to capitalize on. What is it that makes it so successful? Evan Spiegel has spoken on the matter and believes it to be a combination of a “more personal computer” combined with the ephemeral nature of snaps. Ephemeral is such a strange word in its own right — fleeting, short lived, but there is arguable a beauty in it and one that Snapchat has capitalized on. The demographic is right, the setup is right; the stars basically aligned for this app, an app that comes with an almost poetic philosophy behind it.
It’s the perfect social media platform for teens, for the adventurous soul. For those who want to share those special moments with those who would appreciate them the most. To share their story. In spite of everything, Snapchat continues to improve on its software and on how it connects the world.
Strange to think of profound thoughts in a social media app, no?
Perhaps Snapchat has set the bar for the future.
Article by Amber Coyler