Snapchat has been taking the world by storm recently, especially in the eyes of millennials. What was once just a fun app to send disappearing photos to your friends is now full-blown mobile communication powerhouse and traditional media disruptor. With the advent of their stories feature, where users piece together photos and videos within a 24-hour span, and the Discover portal, where digital media companies release custom videos and articles, Snapchat has turned into a force to be reckoned with in mobile media and advertising.
Facebook exhibited this kind of momentum and growth at this point in its existence. It is now one of the most dominant and influential companies in the world. But with smartphones becoming such a huge part of our communication and content consumption, can Snapchat eclipse Facebook in size and importance one day?
In the U.S. alone, Snapchat’s user base is expected to grow 27 percent to 58.6 million by the end of this year. That’s roughly one in five Americans on Snapchat. That number is will grow to 85.5 million by 2020.
Snapchat’s users are more engaged on the platform than any other social media service. According to an article from Business Insider, Snapchat is five times and 10 times more effective than Twitter and LinkedIn, respectively, in enticing users to spend time within the app. Furthermore, users are spending a mammoth 25 to 30 minutes per day on the app.
Snapchat’s aforementioned growth, plus this kind of unparalleled engagement, proves that the app is primed for dominance in the future as it captivates everyone’s attention spans.
Not only does Snapchat have its users flocking to the app to check stories and other content, but it has brands salivating at the notion of being able to advertise on it.
Earlier this year, Snapchat made a ‘colossal expansion‘ to its advertising offerings and capabilities by opening up its API and partnering with a slew of third-party partners to establish a sophisticated suite of targeting, measurement and creative partners.
Imran Khan, Snapchat’s chief strategy officer, said that this gives “brands ‘a creative platform’ that made ads a ‘natural experience.'” Creativity in advertising that is organic to the platform it is on is usually the golden ticket to breaking through the clutter. As Chad Stoller, EVP and Global Innovation Director of IPG Mediabrands, summarizes brands’ intrigue of Snapchat, “advertisers want to be associated with the trendiest, newest thing, and this year, that’s Snapchat.”
And this intrigue is turning into results: although the company only started five years ago, it is on track to reach almost $1 billion in ad revenue in 2017.
It’s these kinds of data and reports that establish Snapchat as an oncoming behemoth in the media and advertising worlds, along with being an innovator in mobile video and futuristic technology. With this immense progress and a potential IPO on the horizon, look for Snapchat to continue to break new ground and build out a fully sophisticated mobile beast, just as Facebook did with social media.