The Story of Snapchat

Posted on Mar 15th 2021 by Miira Vehviläinen
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Snapchat is one of the most used apps in the world and has been successful quite steadily throughout its journey. 

2011

Was founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy who were students at the time at Stanford University. These three wanted to create a platform where users would not have to worry about their content getting shared on forward. Snapchat would become a platform where everything sent, would disappear after opening. At first, Snapchat was only photos and not even videos but when the video feature was introduced, it was a turning point for them. 

2013

In 2013 a feature, which is today applied to almost every social platform that exists, was created: stories. Yes, Snapchat was the first to introduce this feature. Currently, every social media app that exists, has the feature: Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Probably doesn’t take long until TikTok is catching up with the feature. 

In 2013 Snapchat was also hacked by anonymous groups that revealed the personal information of 4.6 million users. Snapchat has faced other allegations of privacy issues and is thus still monitored for years. 

2014

In 2014 the chat function was released, which made the users have even more of a communication platform. The chat works the same way photos and videos do; they vanish after they are opened. However, with chat, you can save messages, which you cannot do with photos and videos. 

2015

In 2015 a very famous feature was added called lenses. This allowed users to add different lenses such as heart eyes or dog face to their picture or videos. This still to this day remains to be a very successful feature, which has been adopted by other platforms as well. A couple of the most famous ones are the rainbow mouth and the dog face, which from time to time make an appearance back in the applications lens selection. 

2016

Memories feature is announced, a feature that allows you to save your own photos and videos to a folder that reminds you annually of your memories that you have saved. You can save this content either both to your device and to Snapchat or choose it to only save it on the platform. 

Screenshots

What makes Snapchat different from WhatsApp or Instagram, is that screenshots send out a notification. Thus if you take a screenshot of anything, a sent video/photo, chat or even from the stories, a notification is sent to the one with the content. This makes the users have more ”privacy” or certainty of not having their content sent out to others. This however doesn’t guarantee anything, since people are bold and don’t care - thus they will take the risk and screenshot anyway. 



Daily users and annual revenue 2015-2020

In 2018 the platform had a small drop in its users, which could be due to other platforms having success, or itself as an app losing users' interest. However, after that, it gained its users back and continues to grow with over 280 daily users as of May 2021. Currently, Snapchat is strongly ranking in the Top 3 in the U.S. Free Photo & Video apps and has been doing so for a while now (SensorTower). 

Miira Vehviläinen
Miira Vehviläinen

ASO Specialist

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