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A Brief History of Snapchat

February 10, 2017

By (Sophia Bernazzani)


“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.”

Snapchat CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel wrote this in the first post on the Snap Inc. — then Snapchat — blog back in 2012, when users could only send photos, and only on iOS devices. Since Spiegel’s blog post, Snapchat has already had a huge impact on social media and content marketing.

Ephemeral, or disappearing, messaging has skyrocketed in popularity since Snapchat was introduced. In fact, since Snapchat’s arrival to the social media scene, Facebook and Instagram have launched their own versions of some of Snapchat’s most popular features. We’ve predicted that competition will continue to grow between Snapchat and other popular social networking apps as all the landscape continues to innovate new products to distinguish from one another. Download our free Snapchat guide to learn how to use it for your business.

In this post, we’ll dive into the full history of Snapchat’s journey from photo sharing app to major social player.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a one-to-one and group messaging app that lets users send photo, video, and text messages that disappear after several seconds. Roughly 150 million people use Snapchat every day, and they consume around 800 hours of video per second. That’s like watching every episode of “Game of Thrones” 13 times, per second.

In addition to its messaging features, Snapchat features Stories (photo or video messages that can be replayed for 24 hours), Memories (saved photos for sharing later), and stickers to embellish messages. The app has been widely adopted, especially among teenagers and Millennials: 26% of people surveyed between the ages of 12 and 24 said they used Snapchat the most, second only to Facebook.

Now that we’re all up to speed, let’s dive into some of Snapchat’s major developments and achievements over the last five years — and what we might expect from five more.

The History of Snapchat

2011: Snapchat, then Picaboo, launches

Spiegel and his co-founder, Bobby Murphy, told Forbes that they met at Stanford University and created Picaboo, the first version of Snapchat, in the spring of 2011. They wanted to create an app that would send photos that would eventually disappear, and the initial Picaboo app was launched in the iOS App Store in July — to little fanfare.

This led them to integrate a workaround solution to the screenshot problem: Users could take screenshots on their iPhones, rendering the disappearing effect of Picaboo messages useless. Instead, they built a notification so users would be able to see if someone took a screenshot of their disappearing photo.

In September, Spiegel and Murphy rebranded the app as Snapchat, added the ability to caption photos, and relaunched in the iOS App Store. They focused on the app’s technological innovations more than branding and marketing …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog