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  • Jeremiah Davis

More than 10 seconds: Snapchat’s Story

Snapchat is a very prominent brand that has been on the rise since it started in July of 2011. What is the purpose of Snapchat? In the first post on Snap. We get the general purpose of Snapchat from what the CEO and Co-founder, Evan Spiegel, said in his first post on Snap Inc.:

“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.”

2011: Picaboo! Snapchat sees you..

It all started as an app called Picaboo (hence the ghost as the logo) but later developed into the name as we all know today as Snapchat. It was founded by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy and what these two wanted to do was create an app that would send photos that vanished immediately.

So, they came up with that name Picaboo and launched the app in IOS in July. They realized that people were screenshotting the photos that were being sent, so they decided to send a notification anytime this happened. It pretty much would have made the app useless if the photos didn’t “vanish” like they advertised.

In September they decided to rebrand the app as the name we all know today… Snapchat. The ability to caption a photo was added and it relaunched in the IOS App Store.

2012: Say Hello to Video

May 2012, Spiegel wrote the first blog post about Snapchat letting people know what was to come for the app and what to look forward to in the future. Here’s an excerpt of what he said:

“We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap."

October of 2012 Snapchat brings their app to Android. This grew their user base and developed a greater milestone later that month which was an increase in snaps sent per day.

By December 2012 users were sending over double the snaps that were in October—talk about snap streaks.

Do you want to know the best part about it? They added the video feature and ended the holding of the capture button. Which is way better than switching from picture mode to video.

2013-2014: Let’s Chat! Story Time.

Stories began to launch in October 2013 and this was something that allowed everyone to be more interactive and open with their lives. This allowed people to watch a collection of Snapchat stories in one. This was like the piece that made the bigger puzzle come together - it was the missing feature to really interact with others. Let us not forget about the chat part of the app that snaps. Chat has brought many people around with its versatility as a source of entertainment and communication. But wait, there’s more… the chat is the same as sending the snaps… they DISAPPEAR!

2015: Discovery and Lenses

Advertisers wanted to get in on the action, so Snapchat came up with a way for them to get their advertisements out there. Snapchat became an outlet for businesses and brands like CNN, Vox, Food Network and many more. This took place in January that year.

Snapchat removed the holding the story with a finger feature by letting users just tap the story or anything that they wanted to look at. Then added geofilters for ads to market themselves. This app is not just an app anymore. This is a business tool. You can find out “How you can better utilize Snapchat for your Company” in a blog written by Kyland Evans.

But we can not forget the feature we love the most...the filters. Filters allow you to pick different animations, like the famous dog ears and heart crown, that align with your face on screen.

2016: Memories and Rebranding

The year of 2016 within itself highlighted tremendous growth and change for the Snapchat brand. They decided to bring a feature that is uniquely memorable. The on-demand geofilters allowed people to customize their own for parties, weddings, and private events. Then they went on to auto-advancing stories. Meaning the stories would go straight to the next one.

All of that was in February but April was where more milestones were being reached. 10 million views per day, 150 million daily active users?! Facebook and Twitter doesn’t have anything on Snapchat.

Memories got introduced in July and this allowed us to save the content that was either posted on stories or content that was not worthy of being on the story. But let’s not forget about the collaboration with Bitstrip to create Bitmoji’s. Allowing us to have an avatar for Snapchat.

August, Snapchat ended up throwing punches at their competitors causing them to hop on the train or even create stories of their own. We see that with the Instagram and Facebook stories.

The final thing they added for 2016 was group messaging and it makes life a whole lot easier for others.

Photo courtesy of

Where to Now?

Snapchat’s development and rebranding is one like no other. They’ve established something that has taken captive of the social media aspect of the internet. No one can ever say that Snapchat has gone wrong - well some may say otherwise with the update they’ve had since late January. There are some things that a brand has to go through in order for them to flourish.

Are you a user of Snapchat? If so, how long have you been a witness to their journey as a brand experiencing the update changes and rebranding? Do you believe they should keep the new update or throw it away and go back to the previous look?

Feel free to comment below and share on Twitter and Facebook!

Snapchat is growing and growing!

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