There has been a lot of Snapchat chatter lately and for good reason: Snapchat is fast becoming the fastest growing social messaging app with now 150 million people using the app daily. This recently surpassed Twitter according to Bloomberg News.
Here are some interesting slides from the Edison Research 2016 survey I wanted to share with you. You can see that snapchat is especially popular among 12-24 year olds and usage for snapchat amongst this age group has surpassed facebook in 2016 (in the US).
And here you can see the fast growth of snapchat (but also pinterest and instagram) compared to facebook. Take note that it is the highly visual (pictures & video with lack of text) social networks that are growing fastest currently.
Brands have also been quite successful in reaching millions of eyeballs on snapchat and the top 15 best campaigns 2015 can be seen here.
But recently, techcrunch published that Snapchat received a series-F round of funding at 1.9 billion and a data leak points to a 20 billion valuation with only 59 million in revenues. Snapchat was launched in 2011 and already got a 3 billion offer from Facebook in 2013 which Snapchat CEO turned down.
Snapchat estimates that revenues will be between $250 million and $350 million for 2016, and between $500 million and as much as $1 billion for 2017. But these figures are very bullish sales targets and maybe unfounded.
Here is a daily active user growth chart from the leaked deck and you can see that Snapchat is growing both in the US, Europe and the rest of the world. The Bloomberg report quotes 150 million daily users which is an increase from 110 in December 2015.
So what so special about Snapchat?
- It addresses privacy concerns: Messages are gone after 24 hours.
- It’s a place where the parents are not yet present for the 12-24 year olds (facebook got too crowded with oldies and advertisers which is driving the teenagers away to new platforms like snapchat, pinterest and instagram).
- It combines the easy of use of a chat platform like whatsapp plus superior videos and images features. Something other chat platforms fail to do well.
- It offers stories which can span a 24 hour time frame, so a friend can tune in and watch the whole day. (Something Twitter failed to do and the walls/feeds we are use to fail to provide).
- It allows for playing. In a never before experienced kind of way. Curiosity and play are strong forces. Funny annotated selfies, face swaping, transformation into cute animals and barfing rainbows just to name a few.
- Its free of “sales” advertising as we know it. The ads are in the discovery platform and are entertaining branding ads, not sales ads.
- Profile pics come with a type of barcode which makes it really easy to friend people via a scan.
- Add nearby friends is brilliant.
- Lenses, geofilters are really cool and very viral.
Note that last March, Facebook said it acquired the startup behind an app called Masquerade, which offers similar photo-manipulation tools. Snapchat encourages people to visit the app frequently with features such as the “Snapstreak,” which counts the number of consecutive days they’ve been communicating with their closest friends.
So what will be the downfall of Snapchat? Thats easy, once parents get a hold of this, they will friend and connect with their kids and that could be the end of it. But not so fast! Snapchat engineered its platform to be non-adult friendly. It is doing the exact opposite of what others apps and tech developers are doing: Snapchat has made its user interface non-intuitive and the features it offers only really pleases young people and not grown-ups… Give it 12-36 months and we will see what happens.
So ready to start snapchatting? Connect with me on snapchat! 😉