Snapchat History: The Beginning

The More You Know

Like my last article, 7 Random Tweets; we are talking all about Snap and this time, its history. Most importantly, their private years. Let’s do a quick rundown for those who don’t wanna read a novel or want to skim straight to the main parts.

Yes, it was intended to be a hookup app

Back in 2011, Stanford student, Reggie Brown was simply chilling in his dorm. He came up with the initial concept after a discussion about girls with his bros. He was thinking of a way to make photos disappear after a short time. He then ran the idea over with his friend, Evan Spiegel and he like it right away. Spiegel utilize it as a final project in one of his design classes under the name Picaboo.

According to Brown, the name “Picaboo” was a riff on the childhood game Peek-a-boo.

The prototype was sorta successful.

The only problem was they needed someone who can code and after a few rejections, they would later involve Bobby Murphy with a little convincing (on Spiegel’s part) to create code.

Reggie Brown, left, Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel celebrate the app’s creation during a Los Angeles dinner.

It took them 34 tries before they landed a hit

Brown, Murphy, and Spiegel had the idea, they just needed to bring it to life. At first, they wanted to do a webpage but that quickly backfired. They created a clunky website where users uploaded a photo then set a timer for when the picture would disappear. They quickly realized it would be both easier and more private for users, and thus more widely used as an app.

Brown was also the mastermind behind the iconic logo. The app mascot known as “Ghostface Chillah” which is derived from Ghostface Killah of the hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan.

After multiple prototypes, Picaboo was born in July.

Soon after, Murphy and Spiegel would buy Brown out. He later filed a lawsuit, later receiving both 158 million dollars and a credit to his name as a co-founder three years later.

Spiegal later changed the name to Snapchat after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a photo-book company with the name, “Picaboo.”

The name “Snapchat” is derived from the intention of sending short snaps that disappear.

They later relaunched the app on September 16th.

2010s Throwback. I can see my iPhone 4 home screen right now. Ahh, good times.

2012: Building Foundation

App launches in the Android Store on October 29th

2013: Storytime

The introduction of “Stories” in October

They enabled users to post a series of snaps that would remain active and viewable for 24 hours.

2014: Introduction of multiple features

“Chat” — It allowed users to talk to one another in the chat window via a live video chat.

“Our Story,” — another story function that enabled Snapchat users all over the world to post photos and videos from ballgames, concerts, political rallies and other public events.

“Geofilters” — another feature which allowed site users to customize their content and post their location at the time of the post.

2015: Year of Influencers

Introduces ‘Discover’ and ‘Lenses’ (aka filters)

Snapchat had reached 75 million users on a monthly basis by January

Advertisements were now pervasive on the site, giving the company a huge source of revenue.

2016: Preparing for Business

Google famously wanted Snapchat for $30 million but it was declined

Introduces ‘Memories’ and ‘Bitmojis’

Rebrands to ‘Snap Inc.’

2017: Showtime

Snap goes Public on the Stock Market

Ok, now that you’re all caught up with their history, it’s time to end this timeline and see what has happened since going public.

Additional Fun Facts

  • There are 150,000+ active SnapChat lens creators globally
  • 1.5 million+ lenses have been launched to date
  • 5 billion+ snaps are created every day on average
  • 200 million+ Snapchatters engage with AR every day on average
  • Active Snapchatters open the app 30 times per day.
  • On average, people spend over 30 minutes on Snapchat and send 34.1 messages a day.
  • 2,083,333 Snaps are sent per minute.
  • Snapchat videos get more than 10B daily views.
  • It would take you 10 years to view all the photos shared on Snapchat in the last hour.

Over the years, Snapchat has evolved into more than a photo-sharing app; its a multiple billion dollar company. There have been bumps in the road but Snap remains a force in the social media game.




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