Snapchat is a very revolutionary service which revolutionized the way people send images to each other. Making it as easy as two clicks it is no surprise that millions are using this service. Snapchat aims to provide a sense of a self-destructing message which only the sender and the receiver can see, but in fact these photos are stored on Snapchat server for a long period of time. When users receive a photo they would like to save for themselves, they must screenshot the image, notifying the sender that the image has been screenshotted. Many users have also created services that attempt to hide that the photo has been screenshotted so that the sender never knows. This is one of the large controversies over the snapchat service as many users send photos with the intent of them being only available for a few seconds and disappearing after, but due to screenshotting these images are never truly destroyed.
Snapchat had developed a new feature on top of the main network in which a “Story” is created which for 24 hours any user who is “friends” with them on the application can view the image for as many times as they like. This is an often-used feature when users go on vacation as they can instantly broadcast and create a timeline of their vacation where their friends can see it for the 24 hours. The aim of the “story” feature is to provide a more public use for the app and since then Snapchat has taken the “story” feature much further. Now there are event-based stories where you can choose to add your image to a shared story where any user on the app in the area can view it. For example, a football stadium can choose to add a community story for the game and any fan can add their own image to the story, with moderation of course.
Snapchat recently chose to add many monetization features of the app for long-term revenue. They chose to implement ads in-between stories for all users to develop a stream of ad-revenue. Snapchat created a method for news organizations and magazines to purchase a slot on the stories page, so that they can publish their own news in the snapchat app itself. The news stories are more image based than a regular news article which fits very well within the app and is very easily-navigable on a small phone screen. Recently the company decided to go public on the stock market and there has been a lot of price volatility as many investors believe that due to snapchat only receiving revenue through advertising, they do not sell any real project and thus the investment decision would be poor. Snapchat has become a very successful social network along the years and these days it would be rare to find a young adult with a smartphone who does not own snapchat. With the ongoing debate about snapchat, the future of the application will be interesting to follow.