You may think of it as a toy for Millennials, but the photo-deleting app has achieved social ubiquity. In the past year, Snapchat has surged to 160-plus million daily users—that’s more than Twitter, the social media of choice for our president, can claim, despite being around for years longer—and has gone through a successful IPO. It’s since been rebranded as Snap Inc.
But how is it that the emblem for modern ephemerality has become such a cultural tour de force? It’s not as if the thing has allowed us to shop from our desks, reconnect and stay in touch with old classmates, or look up literally any information that has ever existed in human history. True. But Snapchat has more depth and mystery than you may initially assume. Here, 15 things we bet you didn’t know about the company. And if you did, then bones up on the 15 things you don’t know about Google.
Following in the footsteps of industry titans such as Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, and, of course, Mark Zuckerberg, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel dropped out of Stanford—two weeks before graduation. He currently has a net worth of $5 billion, so we’d say he made the right choice. If you’re interested in lining your pockets like Spiegel here, you might want to brush up on the 20 essential wealth-building rules for 2017.
Spiegel and co-founder Bobby Murphy have pledged to donate 13 million shares of stock over the next 15 years to non-profit programs, primarily those focusing on arts and education. Since Snap is, as of this writing, trading at about 19 bucks a share, this amounts to $250 million or—betting that the company keeps growing at their current exponential rate—more. To facilitate this philanthropic effort, Spiegel and Murphy set up the Snap Foundation in February of this year. In fact, donating to charity is one of Take Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick’s tips for what to do with you money if you’re super rich.
Michael Lynton, the former chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment—whom you may remember from emails leaked during the infamous Sony hack—left Sony earlier this year to become chairman of Snap Inc.’s board. Lynton, as it so happens, was one of the earliest big-ticket investors in Snapchat, putting up $200,000 all the way back in 2012. We can’t say for sure, but Lynton may have read our primer on the 20 savviest investment moves to make right now.
A Snap-streak is created when two friends send snaps on the daily. After three days, a little fire icon appears next to both contact’s names. After 100 days? You get a 100 emogi. But be warned: Some folks have likened letting a streak lapse to going through a breakup. (Best Life was able to independently corroborate this claim.) If you find yourself going through an IRL breakup, it might behoove to learn how to flirt on social media.
Have you seen those personalized stickers, the cartoonish, expressive drawings that look eerily like the people they’re based on? Well, little did you know, those are all from a company called Bitmoji—and Bitmoji is owned by Snap Inc. So next time your friend sends you a caricature of herself with OMG LET’S GO HAM TONIGHT in word art, know that Evan Spiegel just made a quick buck. To make a quick buck yourself, consider picking up an insanely lucrative side gig.
When Snapchat became Snap Inc., the company unveiled another product. This time, however, instead of a mobile app, it was something in your hands. Spectacles are vividly colored—they come in very bright coral, very bright teal, or, um, black—eyeglasses that more or less serve as a direct feed to your Snapchat. You can stream up to 10 seconds of video from as much of a first-person view as you can get. As to why Spectacles have survived the computer-on-your-face trend and Google Glass didn’t? It may have to do with the price. They come in at $130, a tenth of the price of Glass. Of course, if you’d rather just go with regular old, non-tech sunglasses, check out the summery offerings on Amazon.
The launch of Spectacles means something more than just a cool new product hitting shelves: Snap Inc., as seen in their SEC documentation, refers to itself as a “camera company.” This isn’t wrong, per se, but come on. Anyone with two eyes, whether they’re behind Spectacles or not, can see that, for all intents and purposes, Snap Inc. is an app company first and foremost. For a more classic camera company offering, may we suggest Canon?
According to the hugely influential social media force, Hootsuite, most Snapchat users are female. In fact, back in 2013, a whopping 70 percent were. A Harvard study from 2015, while not quite as drastic a discrepancy, showed figures in a similar vein. So guys, what are you waiting for? We know you love Instagram, but get on there!
Geofilters, the fun and snazzy overlays that users add to their photos to indicate a geographic location are one of Snap Inc.’s primary sources of income. For the longest time, these were used innocently—“Atlanta” or “Beverly Hills” or “Hello From Zurich!”—but Snapchat allowed companies to purchase them. The first to do so? Good old McDonald’s. Based on Snap Inc.’s projected $800 million in 2017 revenue, we bet they’re lovin’ it. To find the coolest geofilters on the planet, check out the 10 secret escapes that adventurous men are hitting up this summer.
The company, after being reprimanded by the FTC—sort of like some celebs for their Instagram practices—agreed in 2016 to have their claims of privacy, and related policies, be monitored by a third party agency for the next two decades. All those pictures you may have regretted sending? Worry not: they’re safe—at least until 2036.
In November 2013, Mark Zuckerberg, the erstwhile founder and CEO of Facebook, offered Evan Spiegel $3 billion in cash for Snapchat. (That’s thrice what Zuck paid for Instagram.) Zuck should understand, though. After all, he turned down multiple lucrative offers—including one for $24 billion—for Facebook over the years.
Immediately after Spiegel turned down Facebook’s offer, Google came around, offering $4 billion. Still, the guy turned it down. Eight months later, Snapchat was valued at $10 billion. Perhaps those comparing Spiegel to a young Zuck weren’t so wrong after all.
Not Venice, Italy—Venice, California! Seeing as most of Snap Inc.’s peers are located a couple hours north, in Silicon Valley, this could be seen as a strange choice. But fellow tech juggernauts Tinder and Hulu have their headquarters based in the “Silicon Beach,” so Snapchat is in good company. For some more beautiful locales, don’t miss our favorite weekend getaway locations.
Each day, 500 million stories are posted to Snapchat. Stories are automatically deleted after 24 hours, and each one can last up to 10 seconds long. There’s no data available for how long the average story is, but let’s say it’s 6.5 seconds, the median of the maximum allotted time and the app’s default setting of 3 seconds. To watch every single story posted in a single day would take 3.25 billion seconds—or a little over 103 years. If you’d like to try, here’s how to live to 100.
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