Case Studies

From Being Called Sexting App to $16B Dollar Valuation: Story of Snapchat.

posted by Raj Kumar Reddy December 19, 2015 0 comments

Snapchat, messaging application created by students of Stanford  Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown on September 2011 is now valued at $16 Billion.

source: BloombergBusiness

In jam-packed messaging applications market, Snapchat made its way through and emerged as a winner in a very less time.
It sure changed the way we communicate by introducing “snaps” the images or videos that disappear after a certain time limit.

Here is the story of Snapchat:

What Snapchat did differently from other messaging applications?

(Analysis on Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create (ERRC) Grid developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne)

The factors that led Snapchat to grow so fast to billion dollar valuation are

1.Disappearing snaps(secret sauce of Snapchat)

Every other social media allows the user to upload, collect and share moments that stay forever on their accounts.
But this notion of your post seen by others and staying permanently cause anxiety about what to post and social pressure to get likes and comments, which makes one to add a fake layer of perfection to get accepted by others limiting one’s self-expression.
Limited time viewing feature on Snapchat allows one to let go of insecurities and share that one moment with friends, which will be embarrassing if others see it.

Put differently: many of us desire social media that is less like the mall and more like a park. Being far less standardized, constrained, and policed.
Nathan Jurgenson, Researcher at Snapchat

Snapchat did act like a park allowed one to share those embarrassing moments and to be authentic rather than going for beauty and perfection.

Image source: Rubbertoe (Robert Batina), Flickr


71% users of Snapchat are younger than 25.This is the age group which is most socially active and already obsessed with selfie trend Snapchat was a boon for them making it easy and seamless to share photos.
Snapchat does not require any registered mobile number and can be used over devices like Ipad which made teens flock to this app who doesn’t have an access to Smartphone.
And the word of mouth spreads faster among this age group which helped Snapchat to grow.

source: BI Intelligence

3.Higher User Involvement:

In addition to sending pictures, Snapchat allows one to draw things over pics in a wide range of colors, adding captions and features like filters and stories increases user involvement.
It is fun, right? Those dumb drawings and crazy captions we add while sending snaps.

4.User Experience

Maybe because one of the Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel studied Product Design at Stanford, Snapchat has rock solid user experience.
The Camera is already running when you start Snapchat application encouraging one to take a picture and when you hold the button for long it shifts to video mode.
And seamless drawing and adding captions allow the user to become a pro at using the app in no time

5.No Feed Strategy:

Evan Spiegel at Techcrunch Disrupt SF 2013 said “Interesting thing about a news feed is the more content you consume the more photos and videos you look at the farther land time you get from your friends”

It is true that when we use the traditional social media platform we get bombarded with a lot of content on news feed ranging from pages we like to the sponsored ads.On Snapchat instead of your friends updates appearing on the news feed, they are shown in Inbox cutting down the noise of unwanted updates and making it more personal.

When I log onto the Snapchat, I can catch up with stories of my friends at once rather than going through that long news feed.



6.Facebook’s Interest:

Facebook tried Imitate Snapchat by launching their own app called ‘Poke’ which did more good to Snapchat than bad.After the launch of the Poke the mentions about Snapchat increased in media providing advertising it didn’t pay for.

source: TechCrunch

7.Sexting Controversy:

According to the poll, carried out by VoucherCodesPro, half of all 18 to 30-year-old users (47%) have received nude pictures and a further 67% of respondents said they had received images of “inappropriate poses or gestures.
source: BrandRepublic

Survata research network conducted another research  where they interviewed 5,475 US respondents aged 18 to 29 among them 13.1% of them admitted to sexting”

Story of Snapchat

source: Survata research network

But based on the age group which uses Snapchat and a added dose of privacy there are cases where Snapchat used for sexting.
Traditional media referring Snapchat as a sexting app did help it to grow fast.Because controversies spread faster  and when controversies with sex element added, their reach will skyrocket.  

In social media, where every time you upload something is a big event to make it appealing and accepted by others, Snapchat do come as a relief which allows one to express themselves.

You might want to read more about startups, follow us here

Leave A Comment Here