Snapchat is a social media platform that came into existence in 2011 as an Android application used to send and receive images and videos (Keszei, p. 31). As opposed to the common features of most social media platforms, Snapchat auto deletes the images and videos shared by its users. A trio of students at Stanford University created the application. While studying together, Spiegel, Murphy, and Brown came up with the idea of creating the application. They began working on the application when Murphy had graduated while Spiegel and Brown were still in school. They named the messaging app “Picaboo.” Its founders raised the initial funds used to run the application with a hope of getting rewarded, but the cost of running the servers soon escalated (Reddy et al., p.53).
In 2012, Jeremy Liew from the Lightspeed Ventures intervened and invested in the company thus allowing Spiegel to raise enough funds to run the company. Brown was later booted out of the company after a quarrel ensued due to a disagreement in the patent names and equity splits, leaving Murphy and Spiegel who are still running the company to date. Murphy and Spiegel later renamed the application and called it Snapchat. The founders did not have any experience in serving as company Chief Executive officers initially. Spiegel dropped his bachelor’s degree in product design to focus on Snapchat. Arguably, the founders of the application did not have prior experience of company management before they founded Snapchat.
Given that Snapchat was a new application in the market, there were few market barriers. However, two barriers were noted: capital requirements and product differentiation. The entry of the application into the market required capital which was a problem until when Liew funded the project (Crook &Escher, p.19). The incumbent social media platforms such as Facebook had already positioned themselves in the market, and their customers had identified their brand. Consequently, it was hard for a new application to get the potential customers shift loyalty from the incumbent to the new app. However, since Snapchat had unique features, it had successfully penetrated the market by 2013.
The company’s success is attributed to its uniqueness and originality. As stated above, Snapchat entered the social media platform market with new features of sharing videos and images, which were auto-deleted after a certain period. Consequently, the company soon boomed in the market where it managed to generate revenue with ease. In 2016, Carson (par. 11) reported that the Snapchat Company’s future goals are engraved in their new mission that aims at reinventing the camera and improving how people live and communicate. The company’s mission statement shows that Snapchat targets to improve communication using their application and thus to get more users.
In his research work, Ansoff (p.113) noted that there are several strategies for improving the growth of a company including advertising, improving a range of products and exploring new markets. For the case of Snapchat, the best expansion strategy should include improving the efficiency of the application and exploring new markets. For most users, an application that is easy to use is quickly adopted. Snapchat needs to gain entry, as a means of expansion, into the new markets and have users from the low income earning countries. In this manner, the company would be able to generate more revenue and compete with other social media platforms favorably.
Ansoff, H. Igor. “Strategies for diversification.” Harvard business review 35.5 (1957): 113-124.
Carson, Biz. “Here’s How Snapchat Has Changed Its Company Mission Ahead of Its IPO.” Business Insider, 16 Oct. 2018, http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-company-mission-ipo-2016-10?IR=T. Accessed 24 Jan. 2018.
Crook, Jordan, and Anna Escher. “A Brief History Of Snapchat.” Techcrunch, 15 Oct. 2018, https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-snapchat/slide/19/. Accessed 24 Jan. 2018.
Keszei, David. “An Evaluation of American Millennials Leading Global Teams.” Journal of Global Leadership (2016): 31.
Reddy, K. VijayaSekhar, Y. Deepika, and P. BinduMadhavi. “social networks have undergone a dramatic growth in recent years”. International Journal of Advanced Trends in Computer Science and Engineering, Vol. 5, No.1 (2016): 51-53.
Snapchat growing number of users 2014-2015
Source: Vaynerchuk (n.p.)
Due to the continued success of Snapchat, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered $3 billion to its founders in a quest to buy the app. However, the founders, led by Spiegel turned down the offer. The success of Snapchat was registered with high number of users being teens who preferred to have brief and lively moments on Snapchat and avoided using the same social media platforms with their parents who were already using Twitter and Facebook. An article in at Huffington Post noted that Snapchat, as of 2017 December, had around 100 million active users with over seven billion daily video and images shared. Arguably, the messaging app has revolutionized communications and advertising for businesses as it has increased the information sharing platforms.
Snapchat Financial Growth
Increase in Snapchat users has resulted in continued financial performance of the company
Source: Vaynerchuk (n.p.)
Amazing Features of Snapchat
Snapchat Founders; Spiegel and Murphy
Vaynerchuk, Gary. “The Snap Generation: A Guide to Snapchat’s History.” Huffpost, Last updated 6 Dec. 2017, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-vaynerchuk/the-snap-generation-a-gui_b_9103216.html. Accessed 24 Jan. 2018.