Social Media's New King

For decades, social media has been deemed “The Next Big Thing”. Suddenly, we're ushered into the Golden Age of Social Media outrage where everyone is rushing to build THE platform. Facebook came into the picture in 2004 and no matter how you slice it… Facebook is King.

Fast forward 10 years and we now see Snapchat, the social messaging app as the new challenger. With its recent initial public offering, Snap Inc., parent company of Snapchat is becoming the biggest US-technology based IPO since, you guessed it, Facebook Inc.

So, is Snap Inc. the new King? How did this school project develop into one of the biggest tech names in history?

Legend has it, that Snapchat originated from a simple idea by 3 former students in Standford University. Simply put, Reggie Brown wanted to develop an app that can allow users to send pictures to each other. The trick is, the pictures will disappear, with no strings attached. Evan Spiegel was invited as co-founder due to his prior business experience. A quick gathering resulted in them pulling in the tech guy due to his rich experience in coding. In mere months, Snapchat was born, and the rest as they say, is history.

I will argue that it's not that simple. Data shows that Snapchat's largest age demographic by far is 18 to 24 year old. Moreover, 60% of its users are 25 or younger, with most of its users as Millennials. Snap-chat is popular because it gives Millenials what they want.

Firstly, Snapchat is instant. Any photos or videos sent to a recipient will self-destruct in several seconds. Content sent to followers can be viewed multiple times, but it will disappear in 24 hours. This generates a primal urge for users in scrambling to send and receive content in order to not “miss out”.

Secondly, Snapchat is authentic. Most social media platforms such as Instagram provide many tools for its users to make beautiful photos. In many circumstances, it felt like a race to see who can best each other in a photo contest. In addition, popularity is irrelevant. There are no content to “Like”. If content isn't that great, there's no shame. It's going to self-destruct anyway.

Lastly, Snapchat is fun. It's messy and chaotic where you can customize your video in different lens or filters. All users can revert back to their roots of using Snapchat, where we can social freely with our friends without being judged.

The question now is how can Snapchat remain relevant? Although it's a social phenomenon in its own right, its still in its infancy stage. In the cutthroat technology industry, we are already seeing other companies rushing to ape Snapchat's features and functions. How long, will Snapchat be King?

(Photo Credits: Anthony Quintano

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