Way back in 2011, when Snapchat was launched it became a rage with the youth and was looked upon as a highly interesting and engaging social media platform. A photo sharing app, wherein the photo stories disappeared in 24 hours, and the photo filters made it different than other social platforms and hence it caught immediate attention of the Millennials and more especially the social media influencers. However, things didn’t work out exactly the way Snapchat would have wanted and slowly it started failing. On the other hand, Instagram started gaining popularity amongst people, which led to a further decline in the user base of Snapchat.
The rise of Snapchat
Merely in 3 years of its launch, Snapchat had become extremely popular and grown exponentially. The app got more than 100 million users and the growth was doubled between 2015-16. The Snapchat’s rise was looked upon as a long-term game and not as a short stint. Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat even looked at creative ways to monetize through the app. Making influencers, brands and even celebrities believe that vertical videos are the next big thing, Snapchat was becoming the new trendsetter. The geofilters and creative banner placements on the app made the users, brands and advertisers, all happy along with the brand. Everything was going perfectly fine for the app.
The Unforeseen Fall
Unfortunately what Snapchat missed on seeing is the bigger picture. While they were happy in doing what they did, the lack of improvisations and bringing in new things, made brands like Instagram and Facebook experience better growth. Spiegel almost ignored the need for growth and working towards making the user experience better. He refused to explore beyond data and what already was there. Facebook and Instagram were bringing pleasant changes even before audience thought of them. For example, Facebook switched the regular profile to an interesting and interactive timeline, while Instagram was adding new features every now and then. In fact, the stories feature of Instagram almost killed the need for Snapchat. The use of filters, hashtags, gifs etc in Instagram proved to be the last nail in the coffin for Snapchat.
Its revenues in the third quarter in the last financial year have fallen by 18 %, with its users falling, instead of increasing.
Despite the big failure, Spiegel and his team are finally trying to create an interface usable not just by the younger generation, but also by people above the age of 35 as well. The time will tell if they will be able to bring Snapchat back to the position it held or will Snapchat just be a part of digital history like Orkut.