Snapchat Marketing Review 2 0

{{Infobox software | name = Snapchat | logo = | logo caption = Snapchat app icon (and logo), as seen on iOS and Android and PC
| screenshot =
| caption =
| collapsible = No | author = [[Flynn Hall,Aidan Waters, Harry Burgess | developer | released = September 2011; 4 years ago (2011-09)[1] | latest release version = 9
0 | status = Active | operating system = iOS, Android | size = 25
8 MB | language = English, Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Danish, Dutch, French, Romanian, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Russian | language count = 19 | genre = Photo sharing, social networking service | license = Proprietary software | alexa = 4,320[2] | website = www
com }} Snapchat is an image messaging application software product created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown [3] when they were students at Stanford University
According to Snapchat’s published statistics, as of May 2015, the app’s users were sending 2 billion photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was being viewed 500 million times per day
In November 2015, the number reached 6 billion sent videos per day
[8] The company has a valuation of $10–$20 billion, depending on the source
[9] In 2016, Snapchat hit 7 billion daily video views
The prototype for Snapchat was started by Brown and Spiegel as a project for one of Spiegel’s classes at Stanford University, where Spiegel was a product design major
Beginning under the name “Picaboo”, the two later brought Murphy into the project to write source code for the application
When Spiegel floated the idea in April 2011 in front of the product design class for his final project, classmates balked at the idea of impermanent photos
[11] Picaboo first launched as an iOS-only app in July 2011 from Evan Spiegel’s living room (who was still staying at home with his father when not away at school)
The application was relaunched two months later under the name Snapchat
According to documents and deposition statements, Reggie Brown brought the idea for a disappearing pictures app to Evan Spiegel because Spiegel had prior business experience
Brown and Spiegel then pulled in Bobby Murphy who had experience coding
The three worked closely together for several months, straight through the initial product release
Spiegel and Murphy then decided to deny Brown further access a few weeks before rebranding the app as Snapchat
In their first blog post, the company describes their mission: “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment
It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be pretty or perfect
“[16] They present Snapchat as the solution to stresses caused by the longevity of personal information on social media, evidenced by “emergency detagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots before they hit the internet”
Early on, the Snapchat team focused on usability and technical aspects, rather than branding efforts
[11] An exception was a mascot designed by Brown, “Ghostface Chillah”, named after Ghostface Killah of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan
On May 8, 2012, Reggie Brown sent an email to Evan Spiegel during their senior year at Stanford
He offered to sell any former stake he’d had in the original product
Lawyers for Snapchat responded by insisting that he had never had any creative connection to the company
The attorneys accused Brown of committing fraud against Spiegel and Murphy by falsely claiming to be a product inventor
On behalf of their clients, the law firm concluded that Brown had made no contributions of value or worth, and was therefore entitled to a share of nothing
In May 2012, 25 images were being sent per second[19] and, as of November 28, 2012, users had shared over one billion photos on the Snapchat iOS app, with 20 million photos being shared per day
[19][20] In November 2012, Spiegel cited problems with scaling for the userbase as the reason why Snapchat was experiencing difficulties with delivering images in real time
Snapchat was released on Android on November 29, 2012
In February 2013, Reggie Brown sued chief executive officer Evan Spiegel and chief technical officer Bobby Murphy
Brown said that he had once been the chief marketing officer
Brown also claimed that he had come up with the original concept, which he had called Picaboo, and that he had created the mascot logo for the product
Originally titled Toyopa Group, LLC, Brown said he had named the newly formed company as well
Brown’s lawyers offered documentation of a collaboration with Spiegel and Murphy
Snapchat described the lawsuit as meritless and called Brown’s tactics a shakedown
During April’s depositions, Brown testified that he had believed he was an equal partner
Spiegel instead described Brown as an unpaid intern who had been provided valuable experience, and although Murphy claimed that he had not fully understood what Brown’s role was supposed to have been, he too characterized Brown’s involvement as having been that of an internship
Months later, Spiegel dismissed the lawsuit as an example of opportunists who seek out rapidly successful companies in an attempt “to also profit from the hard work of others”
In June 2013, Snapchat introduced Snapkidz for users under 13 years of age
Snapkidz is part of the original Snapchat application and is activated when the user provides a date of birth to verify his/her age
Snapkidz allows children to take snaps and draw on them, but they cannot send snaps to other users and can only save snaps locally on the device being used
Also in June 2013, Snapchat version 5
0, dubbed “Banquo”, was released for iOS
The updated version introduced several speed and design enhancements, including swipe navigation, double-tap to reply, an improved friend finder, and in-app profiles
[26] The same changes were then carried over to Android devices in July 2013
The company revealed in a blog post on October 14, 2013 that it complies with the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by handing over images not yet seen by its users to American law enforcement agencies
Snapchat director of operations Micah Schaffer explained: “Since May 2013, about a dozen of the search warrants we’ve received have resulted in us producing unopened snaps to law enforcement
On September 9, 2014, Snapchat’s owners announced that they had settled the lawsuit filed by fellow student and former friend Reggie Brown for an undisclosed amount
As part of the settlement, they credited Brown with the conceptual idea for Snapchat
[28] The press release published by Snapchat’s communication department quoted Spiegel:
“We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr
Brown and the Company
We acknowledge Reggie’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground
Emily White was a chief operating officer at Snapchat Inc
from December 2013 till March 2015
On April 1, 2016, Snapchat extended the character limit allowed in text captions on Snaps
[30] Various news outlets reported on the improved functionality, with The Next Web writing that the new character limit is a total of 80 characters,[31] compared to the 33 that users were limited to before the change
Snapchat is primarily used for creating multimedia messages referred to as “snaps”; snaps can consist of a photo or short video, and can be edited to include filters and effects, text captions, and drawings
[33][34] A feature known as “Geofilters” was added in July 2014, which allows special graphical overlays to be available if the user is within a certain geographical location, such as a city, event, or destination
[35][36] The “Selfie lens” feature, introduced in September 2015, allows users to add real-time effects using face detection into their snaps; they are activated by long-pressing on a face within the viewfinder
From November 2015 through January 2016, additional lenses could also be bought from an integrated microtransaction store, which was discontinued in January 2016
10 free lenses are cycled per-day, and previously-purchased lenses can still be used
Snaps can be directed to a semi-public “Story”,[41] or sent privately to specific friends; the message can be viewed for a user-specified length of time (1 to 10 seconds) before it becomes inaccessible
Users were previously required to hold down on the screen in order to view a snap; this behavior was removed in July 2015
[42] The requirement to hold on the screen was intended to frustrate the ability to take screenshots of snaps; the Snapchat app does not prevent screenshots from being taken, but can notify the sender if it detects that it has been saved
However, these notifications can be bypassed through either unauthorized modifications to the app or by obtaining the image through external means
[11][19][43][43] One snap per-day can be replayed for free; additional replays can be purchased using microtransactions
Friends can be added via usernames and phone contacts, using customizable “Snapcodes”, or through the “Add Nearby” function, which scans for users near their location who are also in the Add Nearby menu
[42][45] Spiegel explained that Snapchat is intended to counteract the trend of users being compelled to manage an idealized online identity of themselves, which he says has “taken all of the fun out of communicating”
In October 2013, Snapchat introduced the “My Story” feature, which allows users to compile snaps into chronological storylines, accessible to all of their friends, or to the public
Stories are viewed in chronological order, and each segment is accessible for 24 hours
[41] An “Official stories” designation was added in November 2015 to denote the public stories of notable figures and celebrities, similarly to Twitter’s “Verified account” program
In June 2014, the story feature was expanded to incorporate “Live stories” (formerly known as “Our stories”)—which allows users on-location at specific events (such as music festivals or sporting events) to contribute snaps to a curated story advertised to all users
[47][48][49][50] As of June 2015, the Stories functionality has surpassed private snaps as the most frequently-used function of the service, with over one billion viewed per day—double the daily views tallied in April 2014
In January 2015, Snapchat introduced “Discover”, an area containing channels of ad-supported short-form content from major publishers, including BuzzFeed, CNN, ESPN, Mashable, People, and Vice, among others
[52] Advertisements are estimated to be seen 500,000 to 1,000,000 times a day
[53][54][55] To address data usage concerns related to these functions, a “Travel Mode” option was added in August 2015 to prevent the automatic downloading of snaps until they are explicitly requested by the user
On May 1, 2014, direct messaging and video chat features were added to Snapchat, in which users can send text messages to their friends and family while saving messages by clicking on them
[57] Rather than a traditional online notification, a blue pulsing “Here” button is displayed within the chat window if the recipient is currently viewing their chat window
If held down, a video chat function is immediately launched
[58] By default, messages disappear after they are read, and a notification is only sent to the recipient when they start to type
[58] Users can also use messages to reply to snaps that are part of a story
[39] The video chat feature uses technology from AddLive—a real-time communications provider that Snapchat acquired prior to the feature’s launch
In contrast to other messaging apps, Spiegel described Snapchat’s messaging functions as being “conversational,” rather than “transactional,” as they sought to replicate the conversations he engaged in with friends
Spiegel stated that he did not experience conversational interactions while using the products of competitors like iMessage
[58] In regards to the “Here” indicator, he explained that “the accepted notion of an online indicator that every chat service has is really a negative indicator
It means ‘my friend is available and doesn’t want to talk to you,’ versus this idea in Snapchat where ‘my friend is here and is giving you their full attention
‘” Spiegel further claimed that the Here video function prevents the awkwardness that can arise from apps that use typing indicators because, with text communication, conversations lose their fluidity as each user tries to avoid typing at the same time
On March 29, 2016, Snapchat launched a major revision of the messaging functionality known as “Chat 2
0”, adding stickers, easier access to audio and video conferencing, the ability to leave audio or video “notes”, and the ability to share recent camera photos
The implementation of these features are meant to allow users to easily shift between text, audio, and video chat as needed while retaining an equal level of functionality
The application’s main demographic consists of users between 13 and 23 years of age,[61] with a growing 40-years-and-over user base identified in October 2012
Snapchat is often used to send “selfies”, and 30 percent of snaps are sent to groups
[43] Spiegel revealed at the Dive Into Mobile conference in April 2013 that 80 percent of Snapchat’s users are located in the U
Since Snapchat has such a youthful user base, Snapchat is a comparatively advantageous platform for companies and advertisers to work with
The age group 18 to 34 is considered the group with the most spending-power, and the most active on social media, thus the ideal audience media companies and advertisers target
38 percent of the users earn more than $50,000 incomes
[63] Therefore, tapping into the Snapchat user community would also mean having access to all these young, and ready-to-spend consumers
Snapchat’s marketing potential was published in late September 2013 by the Vocus company, with Taco Bell, Karmaloop and 16 Handles, a New York, US frozen yogurt chain, identified as early adopters of the application
Vocus explained, “Brands can set up profiles on the network and add users as friends, who opt into the brand’s messages by accepting
In 2014, researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University designed a user survey to help understand how and why people use the Snapchat application
The researchers originally hypothesized that due to the ephemeral nature of Snapchat messages, its use would be predominantly for privacy-sensitive content including the much talked about potential use for sexual content and sexting
[65] However, it appears that Snapchat is used for a variety of creative purposes that are not necessarily privacy-related at all
[65] In the study, only 1
6% of respondents reported using Snapchat primarily for sexting, although 14
2% admitted to having sent sexual content via Snapchat at some point
[65] These findings suggest that users do not seem to utilize Snapchat for sensitive content
Rather, the primary use for Snapchat was found to be for comedic content such as “stupid faces” with 59
8% of respondents reporting this use most commonly
[65] The researchers also determined how Snapchat users do not use the application and what types of content they are not willing to send
They found that the majority of users are not willing to send content classified as sexting (74
8% of respondents), photos of documents (85
0% of respondents), messages containing legally questionable content (86
6% of respondents), or content considered mean or insulting (93
7% of respondents)
The study results also suggested that Snapchat’s success is not due to its security properties, but because the users found the application to be fun
The researchers found that users seem to be well aware (79
4% of respondents) that recovering snaps is possible and a majority of users (52
8% of respondents) report that this does not affect their behavior and use of Snapchat
[65] Most users (52
8% of respondents) were found to use an arbitrary timeout length on snaps regardless of the content type or recipient
The remaining respondents were found to adjust their snaps timeout depending on the content or the recipient
[65] Reasons for adjusting the time length of snaps included the level of trust and relationship with the recipient, the time needed to comprehend the snap, and avoiding screenshots
Snapchat raised $485,000 in its seed round and an undisclosed amount of bridge funding from Lightspeed Ventures
By February 2013, Snapchat confirmed a $13
5 million Series A funding round led by Benchmark Capital, which valued the company at between $60 million and $70 million
On June 24, 2013, the company’s blog welcomed IVP as the lead investor from the Series B financing round, in which General Catalyst, Benchmark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and SV Angel also participated
In June 2013, Snapchat raised $60 million in a funding round led by venture-capital firm Institutional Venture Partners
[68] The firm also appointed a new high-profile board member Michael Lynton of Sony’s American division
By mid-July 2013, a media report valued the company at $860 million
[70] On November 14, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook offered to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion, but Spiegel declined the cash offer
[71] According to Om Malik, Google then offered $4 billion on November 15, 2013 to acquire the company, but Spiegel again declined
On December 11, 2013, Snapchat confirmed $50 million in Series C funding from Coatue Management
Mary Meeker, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which negotiated a financial agreement with Snapchat in August 2014,[74] highlighted the growth of vertical video viewing in her 2015 Internet Trends Report – growing from 5% of video viewing in 2010 to 29% in 2015
Vertical video ads like Snapchat’s are watched in their entirety nine times more than landscape video ads
In March 2016, Fortune reported that Snapchat had acquired Bitstrips; the target of the purchase was its app Bitmoji, which allows users to design stickers featuring a personalized avatar
Features added to Snapchat have been used to provide monetization; Snapchat’s first paid advertisement, in the form of a 20-second movie trailer for the horror film Ouija, was shown to users on October 19, 2014
In addition to acknowledging Snapchat’s need for a revenue stream, the company stated that it wanted to evaluate “if we can deliver an experience that’s fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted
The “Discover” feature, which features short-form content from publishers, features paid advertising
The entity that sells the ad campaign causes the revenue distribution between Snapchat and its partner to vary, but it is estimated that advertisements are worth ten to fifteen cents per view
Furthermore, advertisements are estimated to be seen 500,000 to 1,000,000 times a day
In June 2015, Snapchat announced that it would allow advertisers to purchase sponsored geofilters for snaps; an early customer of the offering was McDonalds, who paid for a branded geofilter covering its restaurant locations in the United States
Ad placements can be sold within a live story, or a story can be pitched by a sponsor
Live stories are estimated to reach an average of 20 million viewers in a 24-hour span
[50] In September 2015, the service entered into a partnership with the National Football League to present live stories from selected games (including a Sunday game, and marquee games such as Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football), with both parties contributing content and handling ad sales
Snapchat was hacked on December 31, 2013
[83][84] Gibson Security, an Australian security firm, had disclosed an API security vulnerability to the company on August 27, 2013,[85][86] and then made public the source code for the exploit on Christmas Day (Australian time; Christmas Eve in the US)
[87][88] On December 27, Snapchat announced that it had implemented mitigating features
[89] Nonetheless, an anonymous group hacked them, saying that the mitigating features presented only “minor obstacles”
[90][91] The hackers revealed parts of approximately 4
6 million Snapchat usernames and phone numbers on a website named “SnapchatDB
info”[84][92][93] and sent a statement to the popular technology blog TechCrunch saying that their objective had been to “raise public awareness 
put public pressure on Snapchat” to fix the vulnerability
[92] Snapchat apologized a week after the hack
Snapchat’s privacy statement originally claimed Snapchat is “the fastest way to share a moment with friends
You control how long your friends can view your message – simply set the timer up to ten seconds and send
They’ll have that long to view your message and then it disappears forever
We’ll let you know if they take a screenshot!”[95] Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez commented on Snapchat’s privacy stating “If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises
“[96] The FTC claims Snapchat “made multiple misrepresentations” about the application, including the longevity of photos and videos users sent
The agency’s complaint cites workarounds users employ to avoid Snapchat’s screenshot detection, as well as third-party apps that save photos or videos indefinitely
Snapchat is designed so that all photos and videos will disappear after a predetermined amount of time set by the sender
However, users have found ways to keep photos after their intended time
One of the primary ways Snapchat users keep photos is through taking a screenshot
Users can take screenshots by capturing a photo of their screen while the snap is showing
[95] Snapchat’s response to this potential privacy breach is to notify the sender
[97] However, the concern of the FTC is not only the possibility of screenshots, but also the workarounds users employ to avoid Snapchat’s screenshot detection and applications that save photos or videos permanently
Many technology blogs online give a step-by-step walk-through of how to avoid detection and save snaps
The most popular way is through a variety of applications available on the App Store
The most well known applications are Snapkeep, SnapBox and SnapSpy
[97] Snapkeep integrates with the Snapchat application so that all unopened snaps are displayed
The snaps can then be saved to the users camera roll with the touch of one button
[97] SnapBox and SnapSpy are the same concept, but the applications function on a coin-based system, meaning that you must pay one coin for each snap you save
[97] Additionally, photographs or video recordings may be taken using a second device of a snap displayed by Snapchat
[98] Snapchat’s response to concerns over the potential for screenshots and saved snaps going undetected stated, “Although we attempt to delete image data as soon as possible after the message is transmitted, we cannot guarantee that the message contents will be deleted in every case
For example, users may take a picture of the message contents with another imaging device or capture a screenshot of the message contents on the device screen
Consequently, we are not able to guarantee that your messaging data will be deleted in all instances
Messages, therefore, are sent at the risk of the user
Snapchat settled with the FTC over these privacy and security claims and under the terms of the settlement, Snapchat will face independent monitoring for 20 years
Furthermore, the FTC claims that Snapchat is prohibited from “misrepresenting the extent to which it maintains the privacy, security, or confidentiality of users’ information
Snapchat’s updated privacy page states that the company “can’t guarantee that messages will be deleted within a specific timeframe
” [99] Even after Snapchat deletes message data from their servers, that same data may remain in backup for a certain period of time
[99] In a public blog post, the service warned that “If you’ve ever tried to recover lost data after accidentally deleting a drive or maybe watched an episode of CSI, you might know that with the right forensic tools, it’s sometimes possible to retrieve data after it has been deleted


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