Let me share a little bit about what Snapchat really is, and why I believe it will continue to jump the ladders as the top social media application of our generation.

An iPhone with a photo of the Snapchat Logo

It’s not owned by Facebook.

Facebook wanted to buy Snapchat back in 2013. They knew how powerful the app was, and what the future had in store for its users. Fortunately, Snapchat knew it’s power and has continued to stay independent of the Facebook empire.

Mark Zuckerberg is the poster child for some of the worst practices in software. He and his company, Facebook, continue to be ridiculed for the bad handling of data and their users’ privacy.

Although Snapchat’s stock is not doing as well as its rival Facebook, which owns Instagram too, they continue to listen to their users to improve “happiness” and ignore the haters.

Also, Evan Spiegel has yet to truly step into the spotlight, besides his (very successful) redesign of Snapchat. Which, many users claim to be ‘upset’ about due to:

  1. The strategically placed negative posts and comments on other social media and news outlets, from competitors Facebook and Instagram about Snapchat.
  2. Having to relearn and build new muscle memory for the new version of Snapchat, which would be too hard 🙁
  3. The new algorithmic view of the social media app, which — in my opinion — needed to be done. How would they have competed amongst their rivals otherwise?

I can share hundreds of articles about this, but I know you can search for them.

Its user experience is tightly refined.

The swipes, gestures and quick workflow to get everything done in a matter of seconds allows the user to enjoy coming back to the app all day long.

Camera. Click. Picture. Draw. Message. Next. Scroll. Friends. Send. Boom.

In a minimum of 4 clicks, you have now sent a photo to your best friend or the rest of the world.

Brilliantly, users are rewarded for doing so. Snapchat users receive Emoji “Snapchat Streaks” to come back each day and share at least one photo with friends. I could go on and on about how messed up this feature is for our generation. Here’s just one example.

Plus, you can’t go wrong with peer-created content. The Discover page includes all your friends’ public stories, along with public influencers and content you’ve subscribed to.

The Discover page shows a scrolling feed of endless content, prioritized by what you send to friends in the app, what stickers you click on, what apps you are using on your phone, what your closest friends are interested in and last, but most importantly, what’s in your camera’s view when you use the app.

There are no public profiles, no comment sections, no posts that you can agree or disagree with. Just you and your closest friends exchanging pictures, text or stickers.

And no two user’s content feeds are alike. You can even remove the ones that aren’t interesting to you! Personalized and human-refined. How convenient.

And that is why the average daily user of Snapchat will re-visit the app more than 18 times per day.

We love sharing ‘disappearing’ messages.

One of the main attention-grabbing features of Snapchat includes its disappearing photos and messages.

Photos sent from Snapchat’s camera are deleted from Snapchat servers after 30 days, or after they are viewed by the receiving party, whichever comes first.

What a great idea. I can completely be myself with my friends without actually being with my friends.

And of course, no one wants to share a funny face over iMessage or Facebook Messenger because it could stay there forever! Just open up Snapchat and take a cute picture of yourself with a puppy dog filter, or of the dump you just took in your school’s toilet seconds ago, what have you.

If you still don’t know by now, these messages never go away. In fact, nothing on the Internet ever goes away. The pictures themselves may actually be deleted off their servers, but this is a public company we are talking about, and we really don’t know what they are doing inside their servers.

So let’s say in a best-case scenario, Snapchat deletes pictures like they say they do. They still need to learn about you and your habits to sell to advertisers to make money for their investors, so what should they do? Build software to analyze what’s in your camera’s view, of course!

You give them (and any other app you have the camera turned on for) permissions to use your camera when the app is running in the background.

And honestly, Snapchat’s facial and image recognition abilities are second-to-none. They even let you try it out yourself in the app. Just open up your Memories within the app and search for anything. You will be amazed.

What these guys have in store for the future is both frightening and exciting at the same time. The more advanced the technology, the more AI learns about you and your habits on the app, and thus the more happiness you achieve from the app?


Now what does this mean for Snapchat?

Whether you like it or not, Snapchat will stay for a long, long time.

Celebrities, users, and competitors will all try to bash Snapchat to lose market share to Facebook and Instagram. Because they both know how valuable private, personal connections are. Just look at how many features Facebook and Instagram have copied!

And thanks to Snapchat’s new algorithms and redesign, they’ve graciously included a variety of quick 10-second consciousness-stealing videos of news outlets and “fun” content lacking comment sections and verified information.

You also have the idea that Facebook and Instagram are mostly the opposite of Snapchat. They both pave the way to create a public image of yourself, to friends and the world. Whereas Snapchat seems to keeps you private and living your day-to-day life.

Regardless, users spend roughly an equal amount of time on each of these apps per day.

58 minutes on Facebook
53 minutes on Instagram
49 minutes on Snapchat

These numbers are insane! If you throw YouTube (more than 1 hour on their mobile app) in there too, you really wonder what people actually do during their day.

And where are the creative muscles being used? 
Probably on Snapchat or Instagram.

Woman holding phone taking a picture of bakery items in the Snapchat app.

These are my opinions, but I would love to hear more about your thoughts on Snapchat’s (or other social media) rise to the top of the leaderboards. 
I’m open-minded. Feel free to reach out or comment below!