by Alec Rudolph, Drew Pearson, and Paul DiPasqua
The evolution of Snapchat is an important one because, if not for this evolution, you and all your friends wouldn’t have an app to use for showing people pretty much everything and anything remotely entertaining or stupid (or both) during your day. It has become one of the most popular mobile apps that can be downloaded to your iPhone or Android smartphone – A 2014 study revealed that 77 percent of college students surveyed use the Snapchat mobile app daily, a number that seems a little low in 2017 since it has exploded in popularity. So now, a snapshot of Snapchat’s ever-changing features should be able to paint a picture of how it has risen to prominence among millennials.
September 2011 – Just Photos
Upon its release, Snapchat enabled you to send pictures to your friends directly from the app, making it the perfect time-killer for bored high school students.
December 2012 – Videos
Hate it or love it, this innovation is the reason why your feed is full of concerts that you don’t care about whatsoever. Yet, it’s also the reason Snapchat began to grow in popularity.
Shortly after the introduction of videos, Snapchat allowed you to see your friends’ top three friends. Perhaps a buzzkill for those who did not want their snap-receivers publicized, Snapchat has since removed this feature and only you have access to your “best friends list”.
January 13 – Snapsterpieces
This feature brought out everyone’s inner artist by allowing you to make everyday things magical, like this cat.
February 2013 – The Growth
By this point in time, over 60 million snaps were being sent per day, averaging out to about 700 snaps per second.
October 2013 – Story Time
Something that now seems to be the main reason for using Snapchat wasn’t actually a feature until over two years after Snapchat’s creation. It is hard to believe that the introduction of unlimited views of your best friend’s (or worst enemy’s) pictures and videos for 24 hours effectively changed social media forever.
December 2013 – Replay
Prior to this, once you viewed a snap sent to you by a friend it would vanish forever. With the replay feature, a viewer can replay a snap ONCE a day, so choose carefully who you choose to replay.
May 2014 – Snap(CHAT)
The ability to actually “chat” on Snapchat is probably my favorite. It’s pretty funny when someone talks to you about your Snapchat conversation the next day but you have no recollection because sent messages are wiped away into empty bubbles an hour after sending.
July 2014 – GeoFilters
The location-based service that allows users to unlock certain filters based on their location is a cool way to interact with users, as they can draw and submit their own GeoFilter for any location they please.
August 2014 – Live Section
Snapchat introduced us to a “Live” section allowing people to follow events live. This is where most of my time is wasted right here.
October 2014 – Advertisements
You probably haven’t even noticed because you just tap through them, but two and a half years ago Snapchat introduced the ability to advertise on the app.
November 2014 – Snapcash
Meant to make sending money to friends more convenient than closing the Snapchat app and opening Venmo, Snapchat began to allow users to send money by linking a bank account and simply typing “$” to begin a transaction.
November 2014 – Sponsored Stories
Highlighting big events such as the AMA’s and the Super Bowl, sponsored stories allow users to upload their snaps to the sponsored story if they are at the venue.
January 2015 – Discover Section
Unless you are REALLY bored, like I often find myself, this is a feature that is seldom used. However, if you do stumble into the discover section you can view content from brands like ESPN, CNN, Vice, Warner Music, National Geographic, Yahoo News, and others.
April 2015 – Emoji Hidden Meanings
To be honest, I had no clue what the emojis next to my friends’ names mean. So, I did some research and now they make way more sense. If you have the same issue, this should be able to help:
May 2015 – Extreme Growth
Snapchat reached 100 million active users, who were sending approximately 400 million snaps per day.
July 2015 – Gif Profile Picture
This feature enabled you to have a profile picture by taking 5 pics of yourself, which would automatically be turned into an animated gif for your profile picture.
July 2015 – Edit Mania
Snapchat figured it was time to allow you to swipe through filters, position text and emojis, show the time, temperature, or even how fast you are going (DONT SNAP AND DRIVE), because these are all clearly very important for everyone to know.
September 2015 – Face-altering filters
I have realized that I made a mistake by saying sending actual chats on Sncapchat is my favorite feature, because it’s actually this. To describe it in one hyphenated word: life-changing.
April 2016 – 80 MORE CHARACTERS!
In case you were having trouble typing your latest novel on Snapchat, they finally introduced a new character limit to add 80 more characters of typing in a snap.
January 2017 – The Stats
Total Number of Monthly Active Users: > 300 million
Total Number of Daily Active Users: 100 million
Percentage of US Social Media users on Snapchat: 18%
Number of Snaps created Per Day: 1 million
Percentage of Daily reach (18-34 years old) in America: 41%
Percentage of users younger than 34: 71%
Percentage of Users aged between 18-24: 45%
Number of Snapchat Daily Video Views: > 10 billion
Percentage of U.S. Millennial Internet Users regularly using Snapchat: 30%
Percentage of Total US Digital population reached: 11%
Snapchat as Web 2.0
By constantly updating its features and allowing for more dynamic interactions between clients and servers, more engaging webpage displays and applications, and ultimately more interactive and participative user-to-user interactions with little technical knowledge required, Snapchat is a textbook example of Web 2.0.