Snapchat is reportedly gearing up for a massive IPO in March, and the app is becoming the model for social media apps.
Founded in 2011 as an app that would automatically delete pictures 10 seconds after they were sent (a solution for teenagers worried about posting pictures to social media that would haunt them into adulthood) Snapchat has since grown into a multimedia hub. Users can get their news in short clips from sites like Vice or ESPN. Advertisers can sell products in between Snap Stories. The model is so successful that even more established apps like Instagram have shamelessly ripped off Snapchat’s “story” feature.
But Snapchat’s popularity extends even deeper than just being a place for people to communicate like Twitter or Facebook. The constant flurry of slice-of-life video clips that users send back and forth all day or post their stories so closely resemble how fleeting or weird reality can be that many Snapchat users just see the app as an extension of reality.
Consider DJ Khaled, one of the most popular figures on Snapchat. Several weeks ago, he posted his son’s birth to his Snapchat story while one of his crew played his hit song, “I Got the Keys” as a soundtrack. The whole experience seems almost too real to be real. But that’s the appeal of Snapchat. By the same turn, the most successful advertisers on Snapchat are the ones who give their viewers a slice of life. Snapchat videos are sloppy and almost accidental — intentionally so.
But its not just Snapchat that’s getting more real. Facebook Live and Instagram Stories are both Snapchat-inspired features that are designed to let users share real slices of life. As the internet intertwines itself more in Snapchat’s model, real world advertisers need to do the same.