Snapchat, Just a Fad?

Snapchat is currently making waves in the communication sector. The app recently came to prominence in the business world in late 2013, when Facebook were reported to have made a bid to purchase the app for $3 billion dollars, which the organisation rejected. So what is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a free, photo messaging app used by smart phone users to send pictures to each other.These pictures are time restricted by the sender of the message, and can be sent to people that are added as friends on the app. Snapchat also has a feature that allows the user to make a collection of photos called ‘My Story’ that allows their friends on the network to view their ‘story’ for up to 24 hours. The relative simplicity of the app, and competition from similar apps often leads people to ask, why would Facebook offer $3 billion dollars for the app? The statistics behind the success of Snapchat and the move in general, from text to visual, can give us an insight into their reasons.

Established in September 2011, Snapchat has grown exponentially as a communication tool, and in the US alone is reported to have 26 million users in the latest report, with worldwide users purported to be 60 million and ever growing. Reports have shown that there are over 30 million snaps sent a day on the app. This huge volume of users makes Snapchat a very fetching opportunity for businesses to communicate with prospective customers, with businesses now establishing themselves on Snapchat for that very reason. Moreover the move from text communication to visual looks to  be the trend for the future.

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With the trend on social media indicating a shift from textual interaction to visual, on first look Snapchat appears to be in a strong position going into the future. The success of Instagram, Flipboard and the move from twitter recently to a move image based interface all point towards to communication of the future being through images. But Snapchats proposed dominance of future communications will not be as easy as appears.

‘Whatsapp’, the free communication tool with 450 milion users, was just this year purchased by Facebook for $19 billion. After Snapchat rejected Facebook’s advances their deal to purchase WhatsApp appears to show that Facebook plans to mount an assault on instant communication and dominate the market. With the reincarnation of Bebo, the former social media giant (the company also plans to attack the instant communication market) along with Vine, there appears to be a great deal of competition in the market and an all out war between these organisations appears to be the only way we will find who will rule as King of communication. Who will win, who knows? But with its simple and user friendly platform, large user base and its current free installation Snapchat has, the app stands every chance of succeeding and avoiding being just another fad like the¬†tamagotchi.

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