3 Lessons We Can Learn From the Success of Snapchat


If app developers and marketers need an app to look up to, Snapchat would be it. Snapchat is a mobile photo messaging and multimedia sharing application launched in 2011. In just five years, Snapchat has become one of the leading apps of this time, with 150 million daily active users. Snapchat made it this big due to knowing their target audience (millennials) and discovering what works for them (selfies, ease-of-use, unique experience).

Here are three takeaways from the success of Snapchat:

Active Engagement

Snapchat users have the ability to take a photo or a short video and add it to their story for their followers to view. However, the catch is that the post disappears after 24 hours. This essentially forces users to use the application on a daily basis if they want to view others’ post before it disappears.

Snapchat filters are also what makes users engage in the app daily. Snapchat uses fun, playful and themed filters that are updated on a daily basis. Additionally, Snapchat also has branded filters which allow businesses to create a unique filter for a certain time period. Taco Bell, for example, had a seemingly ordinary filter which turned users’ faces into a taco. The result of this filter alone? 224 million views in just one day!

These are some of the reasons why more than 50% of Snapchat users are on the app daily.


Connecting Places with People

Snapchat geofilters, which are unique to specific areas, allow users to add custom stamps or images to their post. These graphical overlays add a fun element to the image of choice and offer a unique way to “check-in” to a place, business or event by using the corresponding filter. Additionally, users can use the “discover” section to explore posts from around the world.

This works well for Snapchat, as the geofilter allows the users to connect to places, businesses or events by using the appropriate geofilter. Therefore, Snapchat can be used as an advertising platform for businesses.

Creating a No-Pressure Zone

Photos or videos posted on Snapchat are only available to view the number of seconds the user allows. If posted to their story, the posts are then available for up to 24 hours. This format creates a no-pressure zone unlike Facebook or Instagram where users may feel pressure to make their timeline or feed appear a certain way. With Snapchat, users can post as they please with the assurance that it will get deleted in just 24 hours, alleviating the burden of picking and choosing the perfect photos or videos to display to the world.

So, why does Snapchat work?

Snapchat users can easily illustrate snippets of their lives, in a no-pressure zone, by capturing a not-so-perfect image of their daily activities. It’s a simple way to document their lives for themselves and their friends and followers. It’s also a fun way to get a peek into someone else’s life. The selfie filters, geofilters, time limit and ease-of-use of Snapchat is what makes it a grand success and the reason why Snapchat is incredibly popular among the youth.


Karishma Shah

Karishma Shah is blogger and freelancer located in beautiful San Diego, CA. Her curiosity towards life is what inspires her to learn and grow as a human being and write about it along the way. With her background in marketing, interest in words and story-telling and passion for helping others through leading a non-profit, Karishma finding writing as a perfects means to express her enthusiasm and curiosity.