Created in 2011 by two Stanford University fraternity brothers, Evan Spiegel, 26, and Bobby Murphy, 28, the Snapchat app lets people send messages that disappear. The ephemeral messaging quickly caught on with college and high school students, some of whom used the app to send racy messages and other juvenilia.
Now Snapchat, which is used by more than 150 million people every day, has pioneered new ways to interact with photos, videos and other users, as well as new formats for advertisers to reach customers. The company, which rebuffed a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013, is on track to generate $1 billion in revenue next year, according to the investment bank Jefferies.
This fall, Snapchat changed its name to Snap, indicating that it planned to expand as a company beyond the messaging app. Snap, based in Venice, Calif., also released Spectacles, which are sunglasses with an embedded camera.
A Glossary of Snapchat’s Parts
Snapchat is full of entertaining and addictive features. They include:
Chat: Snapchat lets users send messages to one another that disappear within seconds. You have to know your friend’s user name to send a message, which makes Snapchat a place where people tend to connect with those they actually know.
Lenses: The Lenses feature lets people augment their selfies with things like cartoon dog ears, floral hair wreaths and animated butterflies.
Filters: The Filters tool overlays people’s photos with images or stickers. Many Snapchat filters are available based on one’s location; they are known as geofilters. If you are in San Francisco, for example, you may see special stickers with the Victorian homes, known as Painted Ladies, for which the city is famous.
Stories: Snapchat lets users string together photos and short videos to keep a running account of their days. The images disappear over time, so people tend to check in on their friends’ Stories often. People watch Stories for a personal perspective on life.
Live Stories: Snapchat’s editors select images and videos that are taken by the app’s community of users to tell stories about places and events. Users give Snapchat permission to do so via the terms of service. People watch Live Stories for a community perspective on life.
Discover: News and entertainment companies present their stories on Snapchat Discover. Some brands, such as “Saturday Night Live” and the cable network E!, have created Discover-only content, making the Snapchat app feel like a media company in and of itself. People watch and read Discover for an editorial perspective on life.
Memories: This is the Snapchat feature people use to save a personal collection of images and videos. Otherwise, the content on Snapchat — including Discover and Chat messages — will disappear.
Credits: NY TIMES