Since its inception in September 2011, Snapchat’s has had millions of subscribers with over two billion daily views as per their statement in May 2015. It looks like the continuous tweaks to this app and addition of new features is paying off as the app is now having a view of over six billion times a day, that’s a major 3 times increase since May. They are giving social media giants like Facebook a run for their money.
Snapchat is an app where users can take pictures, record videos and make picture slides and forward those to a list of friends which will be deleted from the server within the specified time set by the sender. These photographs and videos being exchanged are known as ‘snaps’ as they last only for a few seconds. Three Stanford graduates namely Evan Speigel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown are behind the creation of this application which is valued at nearly $10 – $20 billion. In its recent report in The Financial Times, CEO Evan Speigal confirmed the six billion views figure. In May 2015 he had announced that the company would make an initial public offering but didnot specify when it would happen. In October the application rolled out updates for both its Android and iOS apps and introduces new features like Speed Modifiers- Slo-Mo, Fast Forward and Rewind, which are technically video filters that can be used by users to modify videos shot by them. It also introduced a new and exciting feature for the iOS users called 3D Touch.
Continuous addition of new features has been a unique thing about Snapchat that draws new users each day. In 2013, Facebook had offered $3 billion to Snapchat to acquire their company but the company declined the offer. It now seems that Snapchat has not only tripled its views since May but has also been making a steady headway to close the gap with the other social media giants. Last week, Facebook had announced that it had doubled its viewership to 8 billion from 4 billion in April. They too have placed a lot of additional focus on the video offering leading to this two-time increase. This proves the level of competition between these social media sites as they try to capture and dominate this ever-growing segment in the video market.
But trying to compare these different sites is difficult as the services offered are quite different from each other. While Snapchat offers videos which are around a few seconds long, Facebook videos are much longer in length. To consider a video to be ‘viewed’ a user needs to watch a Facebook video for atleast 3 seconds while it is a few milliseconds when it comes to Snapchat. So though each of these companies are vying for the web video market, it is tricky to compare their success.
Snapchat which was initially launched to the private sector for sending short messages to specific people has now become a popular application worldwide. Addition of new features are continuously expanding the grip the app has on the web video market.