How did Snapchat grow so large and in such a short period of time?
Snapchat is one of the most widely used social media platforms in the world.
Snapchat was founded in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy, all students at Stanford University. Reportedly, Brown came up with the idea of a social media app that enabled users to post photos and videos that disappeared from the site after a few moments.
Brown reportedly approached Spiegel with the idea, and both agreed on the notion of a social media platform modeled on disappearing content was a good idea. The duo then approached Bobby Murphy to write the code used to build the app.In July, 2011, the co-founders released “Picaboo”, the precursor to Snapchat. Right afterward, Spiegel and Murphy forced Brown out of the company, and relaunched the company as Snapchat in September, 2011.
Both Stanford University students were only in their junior year in college at the time. As for Brown, he settled with the two co-founders for $157 million in September 2014. He was also officially credited as being a co-founder of Snapchat. With a clean slate and an intriguing business model, Spiegel (now the company’s chief executive officer) and Murphy went to work building the fledgling company.
In a 2013 interview with The Telegraph, Spiegel honed in on the real reason Snapchat was such a hit with younger social media users – they didn’t want their social media history coming back to haunt them.
“Snapchat changed that perception of deleting something as bad,” he said. “Online, typically you delete something if it’s bad or if it’s really embarrassing."
“What Snapchat said was if we try to model conversations as they occur they’re largely ephemeral. We may try to write down and save the really special moments, but by and large, we just try to let everything go. We remember it but we don’t try to save it.”
One year into its existence, Snapchat upped the ante – and the user counts – by introducing video to the app, which had just started selling in the Google Play store. The videos were only 10 seconds long, but the rollout was successful enough to push so-called “snaps” to 50 million per day. In 2013, Snapchat followed up with two new features – “Stories” and “Chat”. The story feature enabled Snapchat users to post a series of snaps that would remain active and viewable for 24 hours.