The Rise And Unforeseen Fall of Snapchat
In 2011, when Snapchat was launched, users thought a photo sharing revolution was in the offing. It became the app of the moment, letting users live in the moment, with no permanent record of the pictures, unless one took a screenshot and made extra efforts to store the image. However, things didn’t work the way they were supposed to, neither for Snapchat nor for the users. A couple of years post its iconic launch, Snapchat started failing miserably. While Instagram was gaining momentum, Snapchat’s users started declining and experienced a massive downfall, becoming a cautionary tale rather than a revolutionary story. The question on everyone’s mind here is, what really happened to Snapchat to make it fail so miserably?
The rise of Snapchat
A mere 3 years after its launch, Snapchat’s rise was exponential, to say the least. The photo sharing app quickly got over a 100 million users in its first few years and between 2015 and 2016, Snapchat had more than doubled its users, falling a little shy of 300 million on a daily basis. With numbers increasing faster than any other social media platform at the time, Snapchat’s rise to success made it obvious this was not just a fad, but a lasting movement.
What made the rise so impressive was that Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat and his team even started monetizing the app in creative ways. From acting as a platform that made the concept of influencers popular to convincing brands and celebrities alike that vertical videos were the next big thing, Snapchat was on the path to becoming a brand new trendsetter. To make sharing on this app all the more exciting, Snapchat introduced geofilters and started playing around with celebrity stories and creative placement of banners, monetization through this app was at an all time high. Users were happy, advertisers were happy and the core Snapchat team was ecstatic. Everything was falling in place perfectly.
The rise to fall of Snapchat
Spiegel, as a CEO, was extremely effective. He knew what his core audience wanted and knew how to deliver the right things at the right time. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the resolve to see the bigger picture. One of the primary things which went wrong for Snapchat was they didn’t see the growth was necessary because it needed to be more than what people were doing. Spiegel refused to see beyond the data and to think beyond what was already there.
At the time Snapchat started falling, Facebook and Instagram were doing wonders. Facebook had switched their profile to timelines even before users wanted it and Instagram was upping its filter game every day. In fact, when Instagram launched its new “stories” feature (very similar to Snapchat’s existing format) in 2016, the move was in sync with Snapchat’s immediate fall.
What came as the final kick in Snapchat’s rear end was when Instagram its stories game by letting users add hashtags, geofilters, screen bursts and GIFs! Snapchat is failing to keep up the pace with the growing trends. Its revenues in the third quarter in the last fiscal have fallen by 18 %, with its users falling, instead of increasing. Every other social media app that has aped this app’s USP (Facebook and Instagram) is doing exceptionally well, essentially leaving this particular app in the dust.
Despite its very obvious decline into major disarray, Snapchat is trying to make a much needed change. Spiegel and his team are finally trying to create an interface usable not just by the younger generation, but by people above the age of 35 as well. Where is Snapchat’s future? Is it in the hands of really annoyed influencers (Rihanna, Chris Brown, Kylie Jenner) or will the team of Snapchat finally realise where the true future of Snapchat lies? What do you think is going to be Snapchat’s future? Comment and let us know!
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